Asperger’s Syndrome prevented Charlie* from socialising
“I could not use a bus.”
Charlie* was extremely anxious, vulnerable and struggled with social situations when he was first sent to the Work Programme. Charlie has Asperger’s Syndrome so did not socialise with anyone other than his parents.
Charlie was unable to complete tasks such as using public transport or handling money because of his anxiety.
What Prospects did
Charlie was assigned a personal adviser to support his needs. Understanding that Charlie needed specialist help his adviser referred him to Autism Wessex. Working with a specialist autism support worker alongside his Prospects adviser helped Charlie overcome some of his barriers.
His confidence improved and he started to use buses. After only a couple of months of working with Prospects, Charlie was regularly catching business to attend appointments by himself and was confident managing his finances and handling cash.
To help Charlie with his mental health barriers his adviser suggested working with St Loye’s. Again Charlie’s specific needs were addressed and his wellbeing improved and he learned strategies to manage his anxiety.
Charlie still did not socialise outside of his immediate family so his Prospects adviser encouraged him to attend a book club running in the local Prospects centre. This helped Charlie to build up a routine and increase time out of the house. The book club helped Charlie to thrive, he enjoyed working in a group and started to discuss books he had read and recommend books to other people on the Work Programme.
His adviser felt Charlie would benefit from completing a work placement. This would provide Charlie with up to date work experience, employer references and a further confidence boost. It was agreed to approach Autism Wessex who offered Charlie a work trial as data controller with administrative duties.
Outcomes and results
Charlie completed the Work Programme and gained paid work. He was very happy and grateful for the support offered and joined Autism Wessex as an employee shortly after, he is still there a few years later.
* Not his real name