Turning over a new leaf (or thousand)
November 30th, 2015
Much to my relief, Daniel was full of beans and very enthusiastic about the people he had met in Adam’s House. He quickly began to tell us the habits of other students and staff such as (name withheld to protect the innocent) who “pulls the plants” much to the amusement of Daniel and (Mr X) who “doesn’t lock his car”. Daniel was noticeably very confident and throughout the first morning gave a non-stop cavalcade of information about the best chip shop in Matlock, the new washing machine, the names of all the staff and people supported and the car numbers of various staff members (Daniel has an incredible memory for numbers and verbal lists).
Faced with the newly confident Daniel, we took the decision to seize the opportunity to introduce him to the workplace under supervision and so a number of places were visited. We took him initially to a café, then a re-cycling centre and finally a tramway museum as all of these things were, we thought of clear interest to Daniel. Unfortunately, Daniel gave a very clear “No!” when asked if he would like to assist at any of these locations. Finally, we took him to Grass Routes in Chesterfield where for many years, adult services have been providing a gardening service in the local area. We initially showed Daniel the team in action at a garden in Calow, Chesterfield and rather tellingly he replied “No thanks” when asked if he would like to join in. He appeared to take an interest in one person who was using a leaf blower and we explained to him what it was. On the way back to Adam’s house, Daniel without prompting said “I would like to use the leaf blower”. The following Thursday and weekly since then, Daniel has very enthusiastically asked to attend Grass Routes and absolutely loves to use the leaf blower. He has visited a number of gardens as Chief Leafblower and worked as part of the team. He has recently stated a desire to try the lawnmower and readily assists staff in putting equipment away after being asked and of course usually replying “No thanks”.