Craig's Story

Saturday, Aug 14, 2010

At the beginning of creating his support circle, Craig and his parents had difficulty naming even 3 people who could be identified as friends. By visiting all the different places he frequents - sport / work /hobby / family / past friends - we were able to slowly build a list of possible folk who had something in common or already showed the beginnings of friendship - however slight. Although very busy and active Craig had a total lack of any friendships outside of organised events and family. This year for the first time he was able to organise with support a bbq for his birthday - this came down to details he made choices about including who to invite and what the invitations looked like. He invited over 40 people - a lot of these people had come to light as we went through the process of noticing who are people with connections with him in many different areas of his life.  Nearly 35 came to the bbq and he had a great time enjoying a truly typical kiwi bbq.

Being very involved in ten pin bowling and indoor & outdoor bowling Craig obviously already loves sport and being part of a team. However c usually doesn’t get the opportunity to show any leadership or make any decisions - more being allowed to take part. We have spent a lot of time finding out what he would most enjoy to do with his spare time - he came up with the idea of a mini golf tournament. Through this process he took the organising role setting dates, who would be invited, designing on the computer the invitations, which venue to use, timeframe, even picking who would be in each team - around 16 people turned up and we had a lot of fun. He loved the day and is keen to plan a follow up event. I have observed a increase in his willingness to voice his ideas and show frustration when his parents aren’t listening to him.

When we first met Craig hadn’t been out socially with folk his age for as long as he could remember. It has taken over 6 months to identify a small number of people he felt he would be able to ask to either the movies / or to visit them for coffee. Even once we got to this stage it has taken another 2 months for Craig to actually be already to approach these people with the facilitors support. Two happily agreed to go to the movies with him - this is a first for a very long time. They had a really great time and currently Craig is trying to organise a second movie with one of them and has selected which movie he would like to see. This guy is quite close to his age and also in need of more friends so there is an exciting sense that this could work for both of them. The other person Craig went to visit was for coffee at his flat - again he had a great time and is keen to go again this time for a meal and to watch a DVD.

One of the goals of Craig's parents is to see Craig go flatting - an idea which he has been resolutely against. With the family we revisited this and discovered Craig didn’t actually know any one flatting and had never been out visiting to see for himself what flatting looks like and the various possibilities that are available to him. Although he is still against going flatting he is enjoying visiting different people and seeing first hand how different people choose to live. He hopefully is building pictures in his mind of how the advantages of flatting might work for him eventually.. After the last visit he was able to think over the different ones he had seen and choose which one he would pick for himself if he went flatting. Of course one of the important spinoffs of this is more social contact and building relationships.

Craig has a general developmental delay disorder.

He is reasonably outgoing and is involved in Lawn Bowls, Indoor Bowls and Special Olympics Ten Pin Bowling. He has also represented New Zealand at the International Special Olympics in 2002 in Power Lifting Events. Here he won a gold, 2 silvers and 2 bronze medals.

He works ( unpaid ) 3 part days a week, at a local department chain store, recycling cardboard boxes.

From the FAST Circle Initiative, we discovered that he has a passion for woodworking. He can spend many hours cutting out intricate shapes with his scroll saw. FAST Microbusiness looked at this as a potential form of income for Craig and decided to encourage him into this hobby as a business venture.

FAST Microbusiness granted Craig $170 to purchase a Dremel woodworking tool, that enables him to finish his items more professionally.

Craig has joined the local Woodworkers Guild, where several of the members have become part of Craig's support circle and are mentoring him on the finer arts of his craft.

FAST also organised two market stalls for Craig to sell his products. While neither of these have been very successful in terms of sales of his ready-made products, he has gained a number of commissions from the public wanting a special piece.

From these Craig is learning about the type of piece that interests the public, and quite enjoys the process of producing something to order. He is becoming more confident in his abilities. FAST will continue to assist him, as the micro-business grows.

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