Anna has complex learning disabilities, autism, epilepsy and asthma, as well as poor fine and gross motor co-ordination. She is in the most vulnerable category so we were very anxious to bring her home during the Corona Virus Lockdown, where we could help isolate her safely.
Anna was initially reluctant. She normally enjoys an independent life in Winchester where she has a boyfriend and a good social life. On the other hand, we are pensioners and have our own routines.
The first week together was, indeed, testing for all of us. Anna had left her very full life and structured routine behind. Routines are very important to people with autism. She didn’t fully understand what had happened and why her life had been so disrupted in order to remain safe. Anna was understandably in a state of acute anxiety.
We feel fortunate to have a ‘life-line’ in Winchester Go LD. The staff have continued giving support and created a sense of continuity for the members by setting up online activities which match their normal routine at the Discovery Centre. They’ve organised online interactive drop-in groups; they have also set up a Go LD What’s App friendship group, all so members do not lose their sense of community.
It is lovely to see how much our daughter enjoys and benefits from being regularly reunited with her friends.
Anna has been extremely productive during her time in lockdown. Every evening is spent listening to music and drawing pictures and dot-to-dots for her little nephew and nieces to colour. She has also been selling her own cards to friends and family to raise money for Go LD. My other new role is as Anna’s PA/secretary! I have been sending out bank details, and helping post and pack up the cards. We are all delighted that her project has already raised over £200.
Lucy, Anna’s mum