Derek

Derek has Asperger’s syndrome and found it difficult to interact with other people.

Derek

Derek had been in care since he was 13 and worried about how he would cope with the transition to independent living.  He would rather watch TV than socialise and always felt anxious about talking to other people. We were there to help him.

"I was in a children’s home and about to make the transition to independent living. I was terrified about leaving care. I have Asperger’s and have issues with interacting with other people. I would rather watch TV than socialise and I felt anxious about speaking with other people. When you live in a children's home, everything is done for you - your clothes are washed, your meals are cooked - everything."

With one-to-one support, we helped Derek communicate and improve his social skills. Derek's support worker also suggested he attend one of our courses - a creative confidence-building weekend full of workshops where young people can express themselves through arts including dance, drumming and drama; gain confidence by performing in front of other people and talk to staff about the issues affecting their lives.

I was shown how to cook a meal. How to manage my tenancy. This helped me feel more prepared to make the transition to independent living.
Derek

"My support worker was worried about me becoming a hermit. The course brought me out of myself. I've now spoken at conferences about my experiences and done lots of volunteering including mentoring other young people and interviewing Action for Children staff. I've been on holiday, which I would never normally do without support and a safety net."

Derek is now at university studying Sociology and Psychology. "My hopes for the future are to finish my education and to work with young people who have either been in care or are leaving care. I think I can help in those situations because of my experiences."

Without Action for Children I don’t think I would have been to university - I don’t think I would have had the social skills. I probably would have just stayed at home, like a hermit.
Derek