One of the people we support – a young man in his 20s – recently took a trip to a shop with two Frontier Support workers. Once there, he browsed the DVDs, chose two and then paid with his own money before travelling back home with the support workers and settling down to watch his films.
Doesn’t sound like much of a story does it? Except we’ve only recently started to support this young man living in accommodation of his own. He spent the past four years at a Treatment and Assessment Centre where he spent much of his time alone and had little freedom to make the every day decisions that we all take for granted. Perhaps as a result, his behaviour was extremely challenging.
He doesn’t have a great deal of verbal communication but is a great film lover and, since we’ve been supporting him in his own accommodation, has expressed a desire to take more control over his viewing options. So the Frontier team were determined to work with him to make that happen.
This entailed a great deal of preparation and forward planning to work around triggers and issues that we know cause difficulties for our young man. Including showing him the logo of the shop online, carefully timing the trip to minimise waiting and delays and planning the journey down to the last detail.
But that’s what we do. Being able choose his own film gave the young man we support a great sense of satisfaction and achievement. Yes, it required planning and forethought but we believe that everyone has the right to take as much control of their lives as possible.