A mother of one of the people we support at Cedar Vale has described how having the right support and understanding at the service has helped her son “become himself again”. She has described the family’s journey for you to see David’s progress.
“David* has autism and was in a low secure service for more than four years. It was a hospital and it was very restrictive. He hadn’t slept in his bedroom in a year and instead took to sleeping on a two-seater sofa in the lounge because he was afraid of the bed and what might be under it.
“He was very emotional and upset, he was a wreck and worrying. The environment was unpredictable and he was picked on by other people using the service who were more ‘street-wise’ than he was. There were people there with forensic backgrounds and it really wasn’t the best environment – it was such a worrying for place for him.
“David* moved to Cedar Vale and since then he has become far more sociable. He can go into the grounds when he likes – in the previous service he could only go out at allocated times and with autism, you can’t really do that. When he wants and needs to go outside, that’s when he needs to go outside.
“He also wouldn’t leave the premises at all. However, now he is going out and accessing the community in a vehicle, which is a huge step forward for David*.
“Also, in his previous placement if he wasn’t in the mood for visitors or was upset, they wouldn’t let me go and see him and that was hugely worrying for me as I couldn’t see he was ok.
“At Cedar Vale, it’s different. They respect his wishes of course, but we are supported to go and see him and if he still doesn’t want us to visit, then we will leave, but at least I’ve seen him with my own eyes and I know he is ok. As a mother that reassurance is fantastic.
“The staff at Cedar Vale are fantastic and he has 1:1 support at all times. He sleeps in his bedroom, which means he has far more privacy – the staff have put in place a bed he can see right under and they go with him to check there’s nothing under the bed to be scared of.
“He likes the food too – before I used to have to take meals to him. He seems genuinely much happier – there have been no incidences of David* becoming aggressive physically and any aggression is all verbal and very short-lived. He loves all of the staff and really he has become himself again.”
Cedar Vale’s Manager Dan Cox-Stone said: “There have been real positive changes for David* since he came to Cedar Vale and they have been great to see.
“I think one of the major differences here is the level of one-to-one support we are able to provide for David* and the environment is absolutely geared up to provide the best support for people living with autism.”
*Name changed to protect confidentiality