Wendy is 15 years old with profound learning difficulties and is also registered blind.
Before we met Wendy, she required 24-hour support, could not communicate and displayed challenging behaviour; kicking, punching, biting and head butting.
She found it difficult to control herself, which meant she needed to be strapped into her wheelchair as soon as she was washed and dressed.
We wanted to give Wendy a sense of choice, control and interdependence so our positive behaviour support team and our service manager embarked on an intense period of analysis and support for her and her family.
We first stabilised her situation and week-by-week, month-by-month agreed outcomes with Wendy’s family, the council and support networks, and agreed strategies to cope with patterns of difficult behaviour, where we also received support from child psychology.
Within six months, we reduced the council’s front-line support to zero with Carr Gomm managing all aspects of Wendy’s care. We tackled communication techniques first and foremost to engender greater independence.
Our analysis confirmed that much of Wendy’s challenging behaviour was caused by dependence and frustration, and so we focused our training and support on increasing her sense of independence. We now have six staff trained and proficient in Wendy’s complex needs care.
Wendy is now settled and more independent; her episodes of challenging behaviour are significantly reduced, so much so that we support her in teams of two, rather than teams of three.
We have introduced shopping trips, swimming and picnics in the park. Her social skills are developing and her confidence is growing. Her well-being has improved markedly; she showers alone and enjoys haircuts, nail cutting and polishing.
It’s great to see someone thrive and enjoy life after feeling frustrated for such a long time.