Helping a young adult build his confidence

Meeting Z for the first time

When we first visited Z in 2022 Z was in his second year studying computer science, Z’s parents contacted Autism Independence as they wanted Z to become more sociable.

We visited Z on several occasions at home first to build up trust and to form a relationship between us and the family. At first Z was adamant that he did not want to socialise and he did not want to speak to anyone outside of his family unit. We also visited Z in his educational setting to get an overall holistic perspective of how things were for him.

Stepping into a voluntary role

After a few conversations Z was happy to apply for a volunteer role at a local charity shop on the condition that he was able to stay at the back of the shop and would not have to chat to any customers. We knew this was a huge step forward for Z and would require support from us. Z started work at the for a few hours a week. This slowly led to Z building up his confidence .

Making new friends

During another visit to see us Z mentioned that he wanted to make friends. He did not think this was possible. He was attending a mainstream course at college and did not think there would be other people like him. Autism Independence supported the family with an annual review at the college and with Z’s permission we bought up Z’s concerns about making friends.

With support from Autism Independence we came up with a plan that Z could make a poster asking for other neurodiverse students struggling to make friends to meet up regularly at college. Z felt he was confident enough to do this with the support from his tutor.

Building up Z’s confidence

We noticed Z’s confidence growing as we took everything slowly and at a pace that Z could manage. It was a smooth progression. We then asked Z if he would like another volunteer role where he would have to interact a little more. Z was up for trying and we secured him a position at Fareshare. We were there to support him and we waited in the staff room whilst Z was given a guided tour with his high viz jacket and safety hat on. The feedback was that Z asked some very interesting and important questions that had not been asked before.

Meeting Z’s cultural needs

Z was happy to volunteer for one day a week. He was confident of finding his way there as Fareshare as it is close to the mosque he attends. We assured Z that anytime he became overwhelmed he could visit the mosque for some quiet time. It was important for Z that he could take time out in the day to pray. Together, we spoke to the staff at Fareshare about Z’s concerns. Z was assured by the management team that they would be very supportive of his cultural needs.

Z is very proud that he now has two volunteer roles and that he was setting up a neurodiverse meet up at his college. It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside Z and his family, and to watch his confidence grow.

Applying for a job with BT

With support from Autism Independence Z is now taking an internship and also applied for a job at BT. Z did not get the job at BT but the fact that he had the confidence to apply demonstrates how much progress he has made. We are very proud of Z!

Gaining more independence

Autism Independence also supported the family to claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which was successful. We also Z to have more independence in the home especially in the kitchen. We made a plan that Z would start by grating and cutting up cheese as Z loves omelettes. This then lead to Z making his own omelettes by adding different spice and ingredients. We are delighted to report that Z has mastered the art of omelette making and is now more independent in the kitchen.

Autism Independence could not be more proud of Z’s achievements. We are now supporting the family into looking for accommodation so Z can gain even more independence in life.