At Home Link Family Support, we support many families and each family is unique. Lewis (aged 4) was waiting for an Autism assessment, when his family were referred to Home Link Family Support. He lives with his Great Auntie, who is his legal guardian and his Mum, Sophie. His legal guardian is also carer for his Mum, who has mental health issues. At the time they were referred, Lewis’ carers were finding it difficult to manage his behaviour, and it was difficult for Lewis to take part in a daily routine. The family felt quite isolated and that they needed some support with this.
An Early Years coordinator visited them at home, and discussed the family situation and the issues that they faced. Together they set a personal goal, for Lewis to be able to take part in a daily routine and for the family to be supported in doing this. The Coordinator discussed how to use a visual timetable with the family, and supported them in starting to use this with Lewis. Mandy and Sophie said that they found this very helpful. Lewis gradually became more independent with his morning routine. The support provided then developed into supporting Lewis’ learning at home. The Coordinator supported the family to use a social story with Lewis to help with his behaviour. The family received regular visits, where Lewis’ Mum was able to take part in play sessions with the Coordinator and with Lewis. Lewis’ Mum said that she felt listened to and not judged. Her confidence as a Mum developed during the visits. The play sessions focused on Bookbug, drawing, crafts, outdoor play and imaginative play. Lewis and his Mum both really developed their imagination as they played together during the visits. The Coordinator also helped the family to attend a Bookbug session at their local library. Because Lewis had become familiar with Bookbug at home, the family then found it easier to go along to the library session.
The support is now drawing to a close as Lewis has started school. Mandy and Sophie said: ”The support has been a lifeline for us. We couldn’t have got through the last few months without the support and strategies provided by Home Link. The Coordinator gave us strategies to use with Lewis, and explained them in a way that we could understand and use. Lewis has really come on and is now really interested in letters and words. We were also able to take him to a group over the summer, where we made some new friends. We would not have done this without the support of Home Link. As Lewis was able to build a relationship with the Coordinator, this gave us the confidence that he could do this with other adults outside of the family.”
(Names have been changed)