Client A is on the autistic spectrum and has a diagnosis of Pathological Demand Avoidance and suffers from auditory hallucinations. She had developmental issues as a child and was diagnosed with a mild learning disability.
Eventually A’s family unit broke down as A presented with more inappropriate behaviours such as lashing out at other family members, demanding things be done straight away and frequent meltdowns caused by anxiety.
Eventually A was admitted to a medium secure hospital where she resided for two years. A then came to live in a small 6 bed shared service with Recovery Care. The service was homely and encouraged A to join in with homely activities. Initially she found it difficult to settle as her demands had always been given into. A would lash out at others, try to distract them away from things she did not want to talk about or do. She showed very little awareness regarding consequences to her actions or her responsibilities.
Recovery Care worked with A ensuring that staff were language sensitive and not seen as placing any demands or commands upon her. Although daily tasks were required it was identified that the flexibility within designated time zones worked well and a daily planning board with flexible options would work best.
A was encouraged to take ownership over her daily choices but also to be responsible for her actions. Relaxations and colour breathing techniques were taught and A was encouraged to keep a stress box with items that she found reduced her stress. Anxiety management plans were also introduced. Staff worked with her on what she could do herself, again, giving her the control she needed, but within a safe supported surrounding.
A still has meltdowns, however these have reduced in frequency and she is able to return to a baseline level more quickly. A is learning how to manage her anxiety and the meltdowns this can bring. There have been vast improvements in the last 15 months, including improved daily living skills, engagement in conversations that she can find uncomfortable. This is a slow process as A is learning techniques that she should have learnt as a child, however through continued support and encouragement she improving and becoming more independent.