Posted 10:29AM on Tuesday 30 June 2015
Our new Autism Outreach Service supports children and young people with autism across the five legacy council areas of Limavady, Derry/Londonderry, Strabane, Omagh and Fermanagh. This Service has been operational since March of this year and already we are seeing fantastic outcomes for the children and young people supported and their families.
Earlier this month we shared Ronan’s story. Ronan, with support from staff in the Service, has been able to turn difficult behaviour into a positive hobby.
Now, we’d like to tell you about Erin.
Erin is 14 and lives in Co. Derry/Londonderry. Frances McElroy, a Sessional Activity Support Worker with the Service, has been working closely with Erin and her family.
Frances spent the early support sessions getting to know Erin – finding out about her likes and dislikes and hearing about her hopes and dreams for the future. Frances says: “As I spent more and more time with Erin, we developed a close bond and I got to know her really well. She is friendly and outgoing.”
Erin loves horses and quickly identified horse riding as an activity she would love to get involved in. Frances and Erin spent some time researching potential venues and, having found local stables, arranged a time to go along and meet the instructors and familiarise Erin with the surroundings. At this initial meeting, Erin got the chance to meet the ponies which she loved! She wanted to get involved as quickly as possible!
Erin says: “I love horse–riding. When I first was with the horse, I was very nervous but once I got on I picked up everything really well.”
Kelly, Erin’s Mum says: “The support from Positive Futures has been fantastic. It has been great for Erin. As time went on, Erin got to know Frances and I could tell she really enjoyed going out and spending time with her.”
Erin now attends the local stables fortnightly and is confident and happy in her new hobby. Thanks to our Autism Outreach Service, Erin is getting the opportunity to do things she wouldn’t have been able to do in the past.
Frances says: “Erin is fantastic at horse–riding. I’m so glad we’ve introduced Erin to an activity that she really enjoys.”