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Janet’s Story

Building trusting relationships & developing communication

Janet had been sectioned under the mental health act due to self neglect, depression and an eating disorder leaving her severely under weight.

Janet had been non verbal for a number of years and spent 6 months in a hospital placement. When Janet first came to live in her residential home she still showed no interest in food and would only communicate with staff through written questions where she would only respond with a tick or nodding.
Specialist support was provided at Janet’s pace, continuing to encourage choice and independence at all times with all aspects of her support and care.

This included a gradual process from washing to eventually accessing the bath/shower. Autism West Midlands have worked consistently and supportivley to develop Janet’s confidence and self esteem. Ongoing encouragement of communication has recently lead to identifying personal interests, likes and dislikes through written questions and validating these responses over a period of time. Recently Janet shared she would like to go Horse Riding which she was supported to access.

Following this activity staff were overwhelmed when Janet began to speak. This began with 1-2 words leading to full sentences and sharing with staff some of her past experiences and life story.

Janet now takes more pride in her appearance and has requested to have her nails and hair cut. Staff continue to encourage Janet to communicate her needs, wishes and aspirations and are working to further develop her skills and independence.

Janet has now established positive, trusting relationships with staff and her confidence continues to grow.

**To protect anonymity names have been changed**