Jamie’s story

Jamie started at Henshaws College in September 2014. His programme is based in The Starting Point, a low arousal learning environment on campus, working with a small team of experienced staff. Aimee Jackson, Autism Centre Programme Leader tells us Jamie's story.

Learning skills for daily living including hoovering in the autism centreJamie taking part in a session as part of his learning programme

“The first few weeks were devoted to building positive relationships between Jamie and Henshaws staff, working closely with his family to ensure we understood his needs and wishes correctly, especially on days when he displayed behaviour that challenged us.

Jamie’s College day is divided into four different activities – Work, Lunch, Cleaning and Exercise. He uses a “Now and Next” timetable to help him understand and anticipate what is expected of him. He took time to get used to his new environment and routine, and was supported to settle in ways that he was comfortable with.

For example, Jamie is a sensory seeker so we gave him time and space to move, pace, jump and rock. He has lots of opportunities to use our swimming pool as he enjoys feeling the pressure and weight of the water.

Jamie in a sensory session in the autism centre

One of our main aims for Jamie is to increase his levels of independence in everyday activities and we use many different methods to help him achieve this. These include breaking down tasks into small steps and teaching these steps in ways that support him to understand the end result, natural environment teaching, help scripts and intensive interaction. Jamie’s day comprises of lots of short activities that create opportunities for progress and success.

Since starting College, Jamie has built positive working relationships with people who were initially unfamiliar to him. He is participating in lots of daily living activities and is more confident using Makaton signs to communicate. His transition from College is always taken into consideration when developing his individual programme.

We are working hard to ensure that he feels confident and comfortable going about his daily life with people outside of his family unit. Jamie has made a really positive start to his programme at Henshaws College and I feel very privileged to work with him.”

Read more about The Starting Point centre for autism