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Support Through the Life Journey

Ewan Dunn with Kate Leavy, Autism Practice Improvement Advisor, Scottish Autism

Scottish Autism’s mission statement, ‘to enable people living with autism in Scotland through the whole life journey’, reflects the understanding that the lifespan of any individual is complex and involves periods of transition and change.

To maintain relevant support within individualised services we are required to continually listen to the individual voice of our supported people in order to adapt the delivery of their services. Processes of individual assessment, review and internal knowledge sharing among staff ensure that services are able to respond accurately to changing needs over the life span and are best placed to enhance wellbeing and support the realisation of each autistic person’s potential.

Ewan’s experience

At 16, Ewan joined New Ridgepark, our specialist assessment and transition service. After developing independent living skills and accessing local voluntary work opportunities, Ewan moved to his own supported accommodation and started work within our nearby vocational service, Cafe Kudos - gaining a variety of skills and qualifications. Ewan spoke recently to Kate Leavy, Autism Practice Improvement Advisor, about his experience of Scottish Autism services and his thoughts for the future.

K: What has changed since you have started at Scottish Autism?
E: I live in my own house independently...I have had loads of keyworkers in my life I did as well. They have been good, not too bad to work with. They have been excellent and they help me out, and if I have any problems I can talk about them.

K: And what is different between Ridgepark and here?
E: Ridgepark I only stayed there for two years because I was learning to get my own house, my own independence and staff showed me what to do when I was there.

K: What kind of support do you get from Scottish Autism?
E: We have got my keyworker - we work with her most days of the week we do, she looks after me. She makes my dinner, does my paperwork and check I am ok in general and hear all my news. I make them [staff] a cup of tea or coffee and then I give handover to staff at nightshift and I say bye Ewan I will see you tomorrow.

K: What has changed in Cafe Kudos in the time you have been there?
E: Making loads of friends and then she is a good keyworker she is.

K: Do you have any goals or reviews?
E: Yeah I have reviews every six months I do. I have my keyworker, Louise is the Service Manager and Gaynor is the Senior Autism Practitioner. We talk; Ailie brings a point she does about this and that, if there any changes for Ewan, or if Ewan has any problems. When I want to do something it gets discussed.

K: Do you feel ready for a new change?
E: I do, cause I am getting older I am too [laughs], getting older it is time to move on to get a new job somewhere else...Get a new job in the future somewhere. It was my own idea...I just fancy a change, see what else I could do. I will still work in the cafe for now, cause at times it is hard to get a job. And the other thing I want to do is horse riding. The choice I made I would like to work in a corner shop or another choice was a cafe. They are the places I thought of and chose.

K: Do you think Scottish Autism are good at helping you finding new things?
E: Yes they are to me. They talk to me about it and help me they do.