Owain's story - in his parent's words

Hear from the parents of Owain about the process they went through, in search of a suitable residential placement for him.

A parent discusses the process of seeking residential support for their autistic son, Owain.

Hear about their journey, and find out how Owain has settled into his new home at Priory Eastrop House.

As a family we had reached the decision that the time was right to look for a placement away from the home for our son Owain, who was almost 25 years old. This decision was not taken lightly, I can assure you.

We started the process attending lots of meetings, in the hope that our wishes for Owain would be heard. He is quite a complex character and a real homebody, so finding something suitable was always going to be a huge ask. As a family we had also experienced disappointment with other respite providers, for various reasons. My husband and I carried on researching potential places, including making lots of visits to potentially suitable placements.

Finally, my husband saw an advert for Eastrop House. What we read on the website suggested it could potentially be a match for Owain. I rang the admissions team and spoke with a staff member, who was polite, professional and helpful. He took our details and said he would refer us to Eastrop House. We were shortly contacted by the home manager, and were able to arrange for her and the positive behaviour support specialist, to do a home visit to meet us and Owain.

I can honestly say this has been the only place I have felt that Owain would fit in and be happy.

As soon as the team arrived at our home with big smiles, warmness and a huge understanding of the position we were in, we felt extremely encouraged, and dare I say almost excited for what could be! The home manager was very professional, but also very warm. She was obviously very knowledgeable about autism in general.

The next step was for us to visit Eastrop House. Eastrop House is a lovely old house which is now filled with love and humour and a real sense of family - a home away from home. The staff were very welcoming. They had already heard about Owain, and so many said they couldn’t wait to meet him. The young people living there were very happy - they were obviously well cared for.

We saw the bedroom that hopefully would be given to Owain and it was perfect. He spends a lot of time in his bedroom so this was essential to get right. It is a great size, has a huge bay window and an en-suite bathroom. We were asked if we wished to decorate his bedroom, and staff went out and bought the exact paint I’d asked for. I was trying to replicate his bedroom to be the same as his one at home, to help with the transition. Owain still had no idea that this was all happening in the background.

His first visit to Eastrop House was for a barbecue. On the day, he was relaxed and seemed happy to be there. The staff and young people were eager to meet and chat to him. At last, my son was wanted for who he was - that, as his mum, was invaluable. From this point, we started a very slow and measured transition programme, where we were allowed to be at the forefront of the decision-making. We all worked as a team with Owain’s best interests paramount to everything.

Letting go of the reigns was never ever going to be easy but we did so knowing he is in the very best place.

Initially, we took Owain to Eastrop House for a few hours once or twice a week. Looking back, these sessions allowed not only Owain, but my husband and I, to speak to members of staff. We saw first-hand how they spoke and interacted with the other residents. It was abundantly clear that there was a real sense of purpose within each staff member. We saw how Eastrop House is managed and run by an incredible team of highly motivated individuals, who strive to help the residents be the best that they can be, whilst keeping them safe.

I can honestly say this has been the only place I have felt that Owain would fit in and be happy. He fits the age range of the group and likes the same sort of activities. He receives the expert care he so needs, getting 1:1 support for 14 hours each day. Owain now divides his time between the family home and Eastrop House. He loves his room, he has already made friendships with other residents and I’ve been told, he is a joy to be with.

We receive a phone call every evening to update us on Owain’s day. It’s great to chat to the staff, we have learnt so much from them and regard them as friends. It is so important to have good relationships and thankfully that has been easy to do at Eastrop House. Letting go of the reigns was never ever going to be easy but we did so knowing he is in the very best place. I cannot thank the staff enough for what they have given Owain and us as a family.

Owain and his parents
Owain and his parents


Owain's story

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