Donald's Circle

Saturday, Aug 14, 2010

Donald and his family began this process with no ideas or dreams that they could identify except an important hope that their son finds meaningful activities to do with his life.

It has taken a lot of patience and gentle conversations to build a positive profile of Donald. It seemed as though even his family had lost sight of who he is and his dreams and interests.  His family and support workers have seen an increase in his confidence which has grown over months where he will now come to the door and welcome visitors. He now answers questions more often than not, and even offers comments. We have built up positive profiles of over 20 things that are true and great about Donald which he has agreed describe who he is.

After a lot of brainstorming a sister suggested Donald might like to have the opportunity to do more of his own cooking. We were able to link him to someone near his own age and female (much to his delight ) who was looking for an opportunity to see if she could teach others her excellent cooking skills. Donald has enjoyed choosing recipes, being very clear about which ones he would like - and rejecting his mother’s suggestions - and surprised his family choosing desserts his family didn’t even know he liked.

Up till now he has helped his mum with perhaps peeling potatoes but now he has had hands on experience through every step making risotto from scratch, macaroni cheese, his own burgers, and cheesecakes. He has cut onions, sliced bacon, made white sauce, and mixing meat and flavours for burgers with his hands which is remarkable considering he had a strong dislike to getting his hands dirty. He has been able to serve up his cooking for dinner to the family and is planning to cook for his sister and niece in the near future.

Another gain has been spending time with someone his age who is intent on paying attention to his choices and preferences - she has commented on his increasing chat and willingness to have a go.

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