We received this lovely email from Liam’s mother and had to share it will you all!! We are so proud of everything Liam has achieved!!

He has come along way from the boy who wouldn’t leave the house or have the courage to try new things.The people who support him have taught him so much.

The people who support him have taught him so much.Thanks to the trusted males in his life he can now shave, take care of his personal hygiene and has learned how to interact appropriately and respectfully with females.I have learned how to turn some of his obsessions into learning opportunities and skill development.

Thanks to the trusted males in his life he can now shave, take care of his personal hygiene and has learned how to interact appropriately and respectfully with females.I have learned how to turn some of his obsessions into learning opportunities and skill development.For instance, he is obsessed with motorbikes and although I ride a bike I wouldn’t want him to. (fortunately, he doesn’t have his car licence yet so he can’t get a bike licence)  However, this doesn’t stop his obsession with bikes.  One of his carers restores vehicles so Liam has purchased an old vintage bike which he is now being taught to restore and maintain. He will learn some mechanical skills and patience with projects.  When he doesn’t know how to do something he now researches it on the internet.  He also does this with recipes as he loves cooking.

For instance, he is obsessed with motorbikes and although I ride a bike I wouldn’t want him to. (fortunately, he doesn’t have his car licence yet so he can’t get a bike licence)  However, this doesn’t stop his obsession with bikes.  One of his carers restores vehicles so Liam has purchased an old vintage bike which he is now being taught to restore and maintain. He will learn some mechanical skills and patience with projects.  When he doesn’t know how to do something he now researches it on the internet.  He also does this with recipes as he loves cooking.

We have used this to enhance learning opportunities.  IE; I’m now insisting that he makes up a shopping list and do the shopping for whatever it is he wants to cook.  In the past, he would never go to the checkout to purchase his supplies. He was fearful: “what do I say to the person at the checkout, what if I give her the wrong amount of money, what is he/she looks at me or starts talking to me.

Being able to do this simple task has been life-changing for Liam.

In the past, he would never go to the shops to buy clothing.  I would have to go bring the clothes home and then go back to return what he didn’t like.  Now, he asks me to take him shopping, he goes with me, tries things on and makes the purchase himself.  He has his own bank account and manages it himself.  He knows how to check the balance online and how to budget it.  He initiates his own savings goals now as well and has his own savings account.  He’ll decide what he wants, sets his goal and saves until he reaches his goal.We have

We have take-away night once a week and he now decides what he wants and orders it himself.

He would never walk out into the garden so I got him to help me pave paths around the yard and now he frequently goes out into the yard.

He has his own workshop (shed) now and is slowing setting it up and working in it.  This an achievement as in the past he wouldn’t venture outside of the house.

He is learning how to budget and now initiates outings.  He has been reluctant to have driving lessons but is now more open to this.

His numerous fears are decreasing and is willing to try more things.

His progress is slow but we have all learned to be patient with him.

It has taken him 6 months just to learn how to sort washing but he now knows how to do this.  Hopefully, by the middle of this year, he will be proficient at all the steps in maintaining his own clothing.

When I look back he has achieved so much in the last couple of years and although what he has achieved may appear insignificant to some, they are huge steps for him and get him one step closer to being independent.

I always worry what will happen to Liam when I pass on, who will support him, who will be there for him and this is my main motivation in teaching him all I can to promote his independence.

When I think back to when Liam was an angry and violent boy, isolated and self-destructive it puts his achievements into perspective.

Our family which was once isolated and socially restricted now has many more opportunities to be a valued part of the community.  It is not just Liam’s life that has been transformed but every member of our family.

Years ago I could never have imagined that we would have the life we have now.

No more isolation, no more overwhelming sense of hopelessness, depression and isolation.  Liam now has a positive future and such an improved outlook on life.

We are now a part of the community we live in.

Sorry for all the dribble and sentimental mush but the struggle to get to here has been long and difficult.

Thanks so much for all the support, the interaction and for making it possible for Liam and my family to live rather than survive.

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