When Abigail first joined MacIntyre School, predictability and order was essential. But, with support from staff and her family, Abigail has been on not one but two holidays in the past year.
Abigail started as a day student back in April 2017 but moved to residential in January 2018. When she first arrived at MacIntyre School, Abigail had limited communication. Not only this, but her daily routine consisted of a rigid structure that left room for little flexibility.
Staff at MacIntyre School said:
“While getting to know Abigail it was clear from the start she was a very bright young lady who had huge potential to access so much more. The team worked hard on developing her communication using lots of visuals to support her learning and help us get to know what she needed.”
Through lots of 1 to 1 sessions and group work with her peers, Abigail began to make progress. Staff used symbols and timetables to help Abigail take part in activities she would usually refuse.
“Abigail's family have always been supportive. Working with them, we began to notice small changes in Abigail at home and school. The use of social stories and visuals to support any changes in routine helped Abigail to adapt and become more confident in trying new things.”
But Abigail’s biggest challenge to date was yet to come. With a family holiday around the corner, it was to present a host of new and unfamiliar scenarios for Abigail. Working with Abigail's family, staff at MacIntyre School introduced social stories, a calendar and a collection of photos to help her to adjust.
Describing the methods to help Abigail, staff said:
“The photos included the airport, passport control, the inside of a plane and activities such as swimming and visiting the beach. These were very motivating for Abigail. “
As a result of the support from her family and staff, Abigail’s first couldn’t have gone better. She found herself enjoying new activities such as water aerobics and yoga.
Abigail’s mum said:
“We can confidently say Abi had a really good time. She was so well behaved and brave. Having her Social Stories made a world of a difference. She would refer to it when she needed to all by herself.”
Since then, Abigail has taken on new adventures, including a cruise for her Dad’s birthday.
Reflecting on Abigail’s progress, staff said:
“We are all extremely proud of Abigail. It proves what can be achieved with the use of tools, like visuals. We look forward to working with Abigail and her family and hope to support them with future adventures.”