Born in Poland, Sebastian came to England with his family as an adult. He has Down Syndrome and epilepsy as well as a learning disability.
Now in his mid-thirties, Sebastian lives in purpose-built accommodation, shared with other people with learning disabilities, close to the coast in Portsmouth.
When we started supporting Sebastian in 2017, he was on high levels of anti-depressants, which had a number of unwanted side-effects. He spent much of his time sat on his bed. Unable to access community activities, he did not interact with others, and pushed staff away if they tried to sit next to him.
Working with local health professionals, we’ve managed to reduce Sebastian’s medication in stages. He is now on half the level of drugs he had been on when we started supporting him. He now walks around his home on his own and, with staff support, can walk short distances during community activities.
No longer lethargic, Sebastian enjoys a full and active life. We’ve supported him to:
take part in autism-friendly swimming sessions
go to the circus
do his own shopping
go for walks along the seafront.
Sebastian now communicates more, pointing to objects we wants to use or the direction he wants to go in. Our staff are introducing him to PicSyms*, and a new Makaton sign every month. His communication profile includes some Polish words for staff to use
We’ve also supported Sebastian to try different foods. Before coming to Affinity Trust, he’d spent years living on a diet of bread, milk, sugar and cornflakes. We introduced new foods very slowly, giving his body time to adjust, and noting his likes and dislikes.
A healthier diet has led to Sebastian losing over two stone and becoming fitter.
At Sebastian’s previous review meeting, he didn’t interact with anyone. At this year’s meeting, Sebastian delighted his sister by walking over and taking her by the hand.
* line-drawn graphic symbols