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Harry’s story

Harry is 19, he has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder). He also has Epilepsy (including emergency medication) and Anaphylaxis to a number of food types (requiring an Epipen). He is also has verbally and physically aggressive behaviour and due to his size requires two staff at all times.

His mum used to have respite support but that wasn’t working for Harry so now Kids is the only service she receives. Harry receives five hours of short breaks twice a week.

June, Harry’s mum, talks about the impact of short breaks on the family.

Getting the right support

We were initially introduced to the Kids through the Children’s Disability Team where he joined the summer playscheme which he enjoyed and accessed these until he was unfortunately too old to qualify.

Harry has been accessing Kids services for over 10 years. He began at the summer playschemes and he also used to attend an evening group at the centre for a number of years. For the last five years we have had access to short breaks, where he has two staff who take him out twice a week as group sessions are no longer suitable for him.

Choosing his short breaks

On his breaks he chooses what he wants to do each time e.g. visit the centre, shopping, McDonald’s, bowling. He loves his time out with his Kids practitioners as it gives him some independence. He has challenging behaviour but as he has consistent support from the same practitioners, his behaviour has largely improved on the short breaks.

The value of short breaks

It was invaluable to me when he was younger as we got to meet parents in a similar situation so it made me realise I wasn’t alone. Now, his short breaks give our family a couple of hours of much needed respite

There is limited services locally for disabled children and young people and we as a family are extremely grateful for the support over the years and for the experiences Harry has had through Kids.

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