Facing challenges with anxiety

Sophie had started an animal care course at college in September 2017, because of her love of taking care of her dogs, but stopped due to anxiety. She has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and finds socialising at college challenging as this triggers her anxiety. She tried to return to college in September 2018 but was struggling with her anxiety.

Although the college had given Sophie key people to support her, she found asking for help difficult. In the previous year she had reached out to her tutor as she was unclear about an assignment, for whatever reason the tutor had not responded to her request for help therefore her trust had been broken.

 

Struggling to find a solution

Sophie gave consent for her mum to receive information on her behalf. Her mum and the SENDIASS Practitioner discussed what support should and could be put into place for Sophie in college. A meeting with the SEN (Special Educational Needs) tutor in college was arranged and the SENDIASS Practitioner supported her and her mum to prepare for the meeting. At the meeting a plan of action was put into place and strategies discussed and agreed with Sophie for how she could feel more comfortable and supported in college. Sophie and her mum left the meeting feeling confident.

Unfortunately these strategies were not immediately available and once again Sophie was left feeling unsupported. Another meeting was arranged in December as Sophie had stopped attending college again.

Continuing with Further Education

The Practitioner explored with Sophie why she wanted to complete the animal care course and she expressed that her real interest was in dog grooming. The Practitioner helped her identify a Grooming Apprenticeship and helped her prepare for the interview including creating a one page profile which detailed her strengths and how her communication difficulties could be supported.

Sophie felt confident enough to apply for and attend an interview for the apprenticeship and was successful in gaining the apprenticeship and has been attending for a couple of months. Her mum says “Sophie is really enjoying the work and growing in confidence. Because the apprenticeship focuses on her interests and she works in a small team, she is able to ask for help without problems.”

Sophie has now got the support and confidence she needed to shape her future in working in Dog Grooming.