Nobody knew me, well not the real me, when I came to live in my house at Barham Court. Very little information about me was given from my previous placements.
So let me see who can work me out. I do not use words to communicate and my Makaton signs were a little rusty to say the least, so here goes…
I noticed that the staff watched me a lot, (I know I am beautiful, but please). They soon picked up on my routines, which were mainly learnt behaviours, rushing here there and everywhere. Gradually some signs that I had long forgotten, used alongside prompts and the spoken word began to make sense to me. The staff told me I didn’t have to rush my routines, as I was now in my own home.
One day one of my support team began to sing nursery rhymes and I joined in, no words, just sounds, well I wanted more, I liked this feeling of inclusion. Little did that person know what they had started! They then moved on to hymns – yes, yes, yes, I remember some of these, I think I am going to like it here, and the staff team are fun.
Sometimes I got upset and still do about my big sister Ann, she lives a long way away in Canada. All I know is I would have to go on a plane to get there and it would cost a lot of money. So once again the staff came up with a solution: Skype. Now the first time we did this I just stared at the screen! Why is there a picture of my sister waving and talking? Staff helped me to understand what was happening and what my sister was saying to me – what a day that was. And things got even better, my other sister Jenny and brother Gary have also got in touch.
I did go to college but over the years I have lost some skills. The staff noticed this and began making menu cards with me. I had lots of one to one time and great fun picking the pictures, so I can follow them.
I just love to be busy; I work at Walton Lea Garden Centre every Friday morning and since August I have been doing voluntary work in a laundrette. I meet different people all the time and I am hoping to increase the number of days that I do.
I think my future looks bright and fulfilled.
P.S. I am moving to new house – ssshhhh it’s a secret
*This blog was written on behalf of Sandra by Rachel, who has worked with Sandra since she moved to be supported by MacIntyre and knows her well. Rachel has shared many special times with Sandra and for this blog she tried to capture Sandra’s character in her writing; her great sense of humour, easy laughter, and love of people.
Senior Practitioner Warrington