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Not Alone in Lock-down

On March 25th 2020 the world went into Lock-down due to the deadly Corona Virus. The lock down was a slow process where we work. We listened to the advice that was given which gradually changed, and in a way the people we serve were to a degree eased into the Lock-down.

One gentleman we serve has Autism, however he is largely independent and can do most things for himself, however he is also prone to become impulsive at times especially when it comes to smoking his E-cig and going out to Harrogate on his own.

He is also supported by another organisation “Time Together” for 2 hours a day 5 days a week. Together both teams knew what was in stall for the person we serve, we knew how much this would upset him, however thanks to both teams, his Dad and the CSM, we were able to get him to understand (At least to a point) why he needed to stay indoors, and how much his effort was helping save lives.

For the first week we arranged working together to assist him with his boredom, which included walks outside for 10 mins or so. However, as we learned more about the restrictions, we had to stop him from going out at all, at least for walks in the community. Working as one team we embarked on a series of indoor events, such as baking, something he has not done in a while. Also, parlour games such as Card games, Ludo and Draughts. Re-introducing to technology especially using his computer. Using his computer to watch films.

He has made several Face-Time phone calls with his Dad which have put him very much at ease when he has become stressed. He is now in the process expanding this with other members of his family.

Together ubu and “Time Together” are working on introducing him to something different, in the to help him learn new things and encouraging him to use the technology on his own.

Getting used to interaction is key for him, however it doesn’t always work as there are times, he wants to be left alone. When this happens, we let him know where we are so he can have his own personal space. He is mostly in a happy mood, however when he gets down, it is usually because he wants Lock-down to end, as we all do. During these times we go with him to the calendar and mark off the day with a yellow X. reminding him of how far he has come and the tremendous effort he has made so far. Engaging him in this way gives him (we believe from his response) a sense of self-worth and achievement.

It has to be said that the lock-down is horrid for everyone, especially those people who are set away from their normal routines, however this is an opportunity for the people who we serve to become diverse, to be reminded how despite not having the routines and daily activities they normally have, they are able to make new ones, to learn something different.

Peter Mervyn


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