Declan's story

Read about the positive things Declan has achieved in his time at Loughshore.

Declan is a young autistic man who also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and a learning disability.

He came to live at Loughshore after a transition from children’s residential services.

Declan’s background

Declan is an outgoing young man, who loves chatting and going out into the community. When he first came to Loughshore, he engaged really well with his core staff team, and trips outside the home featured prominently on his weekly activities planner.

During a time period where there were lots of unexpected changes in Declan’s life, this disruption caused him a lot of distress, and had a detrimental impact on his mental health. He struggled with feelings of anxiety, and this would sometimes result in behaviours that were concerning.

Declan began to show less interest in things which he previously enjoyed, and no longer wished to engage with members of staff. Aside from visits to his family home, Declan did not leave the service for nearly a year. This was a huge concern amongst Declan’s core staff team, and it was decided that improving Declan’s access to the community would be conducive to his wellbeing.

Supporting Declan to regain his confidence

Declan’s team began to work with Declan to rebuild his trust and confidence. This intervention started small, with short conversations about Declan's interests and what new things he would like to try. Over a period of five weeks, Declan was supported to embark on walking trips around the area, to places of his choice.

Soon after, Declan attended a local festival with fellow residents, and this was a significant turning point for him – the positive experience was a huge motivator. The next step was to gradually introduce Declan to businesses in the area. His team spoke with him about what the shops sell and encouraged him to pick ones he would like to visit. Declan chose an ice cream shop and a pizza restaurant, and successfully visited both, with staff support.

As Declan's confidence grew, his keyworkers began to ask him about activities that were further away and required a bus trip. Declan expressed a wish to go bowling, and was able to plan his route using online maps and assisted with a social story about the trip. The visit to the bowling alley was a great success, with Declan even deciding to stay after to play arcade machines.

Over the course of this process, significant improvements in Declan’s mental health and behaviour were observed. The manager at Loughshore is pleased to say that Declan is now engaging more with the staff at the home, is excited to try new activities and is truly “retaining his spark!"


Declan's story

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