Shannon, a Senior Support Worker for Shelton Care Group, has been supporting people with Autism Spectrum Conditions for a few years now, this is her story about the importance of raising awareness about the condition and why being different also means being unique.
Everyone is beautiful, and everyone is unique. Autism awareness to me is about recognising and realising what beautiful and creative minds the individuals we support really have.
I have been a part of Shelton Care now for 5 years and over my time here I can honestly say what a pleasure it has been to do such a rewarding job.
I think the most rewarding part of this role is knowing you have made an impact, whether it raising awareness, acceptance, and inclusion or helping the individuals we support to achieve the goals that they set and succeed in.
Over the years I’ve worked with lots of individuals who are non-verbal and are autistic, my advice would be to take in their interests, use it as a method of communication, sit and watch jungle book ten times, give them a hand massage, anything at all that they enjoy and you’ll build a bond, promote social interaction, even if it’s just 1 minute, 1 hour or 1 day trip out. Recognise that even though the individual may be non-verbal, they have a well-functioning mind, a way to communicate, and talents of their own.
I don’t think there’s enough recognition of what truly amazing individuals autistic people are, what independent, passionate, interesting people they can be. One particular service user I support has such a wonderful imagination, another with a wicked and dry sense of humour that will have you laughing till you cry!
This company, these individuals and my fellow staff team have taught me a lot over the years and I’m incredibly thankful to be a part of it all, as well as proud.
By Shannon, Support Worker