Brendon* (aged 9) has been diagnosed with Autism. He needs adult support to help him access activities in and out of the home, and to manage his behaviours so that he can enjoy these activities safely. Brendon’s younger brother has also been diagnosed with Autism. Their parents find it difficult to cope with two children who display challenging behaviour, and to manage both children’s differing needs. The level of support that both children need is leaving both parents exhausted.

Brendon has been attending PACE’s Play and Care service for over a year. He has built up a very good relationship with his keyworker, who takes him out twice a week, They go to local parks, play centres and leisure centres, or to places of interest, such as the Natural History Museum and London’s South Bank. This give Brendon’s family the respite that they so desperately need, and Brendon really enjoys getting out of the house:

“I like going out with [my keyworker]. I like all the trips.”

Brendon’s keyworker also helps him with his homework, because his mother finds this difficult to do whilst also attending to the needs of his younger brother:

“It is so helpful having someone else to help with his homework, it gives me time to focus on house work and other things.”

When Brendon first joined the service, although he engaged well in the sessions and benefitted from all the different activities, he displayed quite obsessive behaviour and found it difficult to follow instructions. If he felt things were not going his way, or he was asked to do something he didn’t want to do, he would react by hitting or spitting at his keyworker or members of the public.

However, his keyworker has noticed a positive change in his behaviour over time:

“It has been a real pleasure working with Brendon and seeing the progress he has made over the last year. His behaviour has improved now that I have developed different strategies to help him find alternative ways of expressing himself, such as ignoring the negative behaviour and praising the positive.”

One of the main areas which Brendon and his keyworker have been working on is the transition between the end of the session and going home. Brendon’s behaviour would become more challenging at this time, because he was having such a good time and was reluctant to end the activity. His keyworker now uses ‘social stories’ to help with the lead-up to the end of the sessions.

“By clearly spelling out the sequence of events, Brendon knows what to expect, and is now managing to deal with the session ending much more calmly.”



*Names have been changed to respect anonymity