Skip to main content

Moving house can be unsettling, but for Scope client Ali, it was particularly troublesome. Ali is now a permanent resident at Pascoe Avenue in Victoria, but that hasn’t always been the case.

“Pascoe Avenue was a short-term accommodation site originally,” explains Andrea Leadbeater, House Supervisor. “Ali had stayed with us before, but there was no permanent place available for him, so he ended up moving to another STA.”

​​​​​​​“Then just under two years later when he turned 18, a place became available, so he was able to move back in.”

“When he stayed at Pascoe the first time he enjoyed going out to the beach, and to cafes and restaurants,” Andrea says. “But when he moved back in permanently, he refused to leave the house, even to step into the garden area outside."

In fact, Ali, who does not use speech, became so distressed at this change in circumstances that he refused to eat, drink, or take medication.

“He became really withdrawn and stopped interacting with both staff and family,” Andrea recalls. “He suffered dramatic weight loss, which led to him being admitted to hospital on three occasions.”

Ali was so distressed that he refused to take the medication his medical team prescribed and refused to participate in daily routines like showering and brushing his teeth – often for weeks at a time.

“We worked closely with Ali’s care team and his family to rebuild trust and rapport,” Andrea says. “One of the things we did was engage staff who were able to commit to working at the house on an ongoing basis, so Ali would feel more secure.”

The team also focused on giving Ali more choice and control, watching his body language, offering him opportunities for support and reassuring him if he refused food or medication. ​​​​​​​

“We maintained structure and were consistent with our approach to make sure he felt safe,” Andrea says.

Thanks to his team’s dedication, two years later Ali has begun to participate in, and even enjoy daily life at Pascoe. He has reached a healthy BMI and is comfortable leaving the house for short periods of time with the team at Pascoe to visit the community.

“Ali has reached the point now where he is comfortable getting out of the bus when we drive into town and go for a quick run around the park,” Andrea says. “His energy levels have increased, and so has his level of engagement with staff and family.”

Ali has also gone back to enjoying some of his favourite activities like jumping on the trampoline, doing painting and completing jigsaw puzzles. Ali is also enjoying pet therapy with Tully the dog.

Ali enjoying a visit from Tully the dog
Ali enjoying a visit from Tully the dog

“We introduced Tully to the house in May this year,” Andrea says. “Ali really enjoys spending time with her. He’ll give her a pat, feed her and play chasey. When Tully hops up on his bed to say hello Ali laughs his head off!”

What a great outcome! Well done team Pascoe for supporting Ali to feel at home and get back to doing the things he loves.