Feeling special and proud

I am a Support Worker at Anvil Close, where I regularly support Atul to participate in his music sessions. Atul has a weekly music session with Sjaak, a music therapist. Sjaak comes to Atul’s house on a Friday for the session and with prior arrangement, will go to Atul’s Mum’s house for the session where his Mum and brother can also join in with him.

I supported Atul to his Mum’s house last Friday as Mum had asked for the session to be there to help Atul celebrate Diwali. On arriving, Atul was welcomed by Sjaak into the communal lounge of his Mum’s supported living block and he commented on how smart he looked and put his arm around Atul, Sjaak is able to do this as he knows Atul well.

While we waited for Atul’s Mum to come down, Sjaak kept reassuring Atul saying ‘Atul you are very smart’ and Atul responded with a broad smile! Atul’s usual clothing preference is loose fitting comfortable clothing, however as he was marking Diwali, together we had chosen some smarter clothes in the form of a suit and tie. Atul kept smiling for a long time after the praise Sjaak had given him, this is progress for Atul who used to find different people and environments challenging and so would be restless and uneasy. Sjaak remarked that ‘I need to buy a suit like yours Atul!’

When Atul’s Mum joined us, she was pleased to see Atul and remarked ‘Atul you are looking very smart!’ and she hugged Atul.

Sjaak proceeded with the music session, while he played the music Atul held Sjaak’s hand and they played together. Occasionally, Atul walked around the room (Atul often does this during his music session) and Sjaak followed him while playing some music.
We took a lot of photos and some videos during the session. In some of the photos, Atul was really posing with Mum and appeared to be very comfortable. Atul’s Mum gave us some sweets for celebrating Diwali and a parcel of food for us to come home with; she gave me some spicy chapattis!

As we were saying good bye and leaving, the care taker of the building met Atul and commented on how smart he was dressed, and asked Atul ‘do you remember me!’ Atul gave her a big smile in response!

This was a very good day for Atul: interactions filled with warmth, where he felt special and proud.

Jimmy Bongomin
Support Worker
Anvil Close, London

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