Below is Jamie’s story written by his mum
Jamie has Severe Articulatory Dyspraxia – Jamie finds it extremely difficult to pronounce certain sounds and words. Due to his problems with speech and language he finds it difficult to get his message across to others and to maintain conversations. His speech is unintelligible to most people. He understands what is said to him so has receptive language but finds it difficult to express himself because of his language difficulties. This makes life very difficult for Jamie and more so as he’s grown into a young adult.
Jamie has become more aware of his difficulties as he has grown up and this makes it very difficult in all aspects of his life. It also has an impact on his confidence and self esteem. Social gatherings are difficult, making friends, socializing, shopping, travelling, going out and about in the community – almost every aspect of his life is affected by his communication difficulties.
From the age of 3 years Jamie learnt makaton signing and also had weekly speech therapy which continues to this day. He has various strategies in place to help him communicate with others.
Jamie is a cheerful and a happy young man and I really hope that one day he will be able to work and live independently. He is very willing and able and I truly believe he will achieve both of these with some help and support.
Jamie left college 3 years ago and joined The Independence Project in 2019. Jamie absolutely loves going to the Independence Project twice a week. Andrew and his ever growing team are truly amazing and have made a huge difference to Jamie. He has access to so many different activities including a derelict allotment which they took over last year and have totally transformed and are growing their own fruit and vegetables.
Last year during the pandemic Andrew found ways to stay open to support these young adults in a safe environment when other support provisions were closed. Whether it was regular zoom sessions, cooking, quizzes, exercise sessions or putting up a marquee on his driveway, he was always there ready for the next challenge. He went above and beyond to give them something to look forward to every week. They did lots of walking and outdoor activities and just being with other people rather than being isolated at home made such a difference. Jamie thrives on routine and planning but of course everything disappeared last year – but having the Independence Project to look forward to made a massive difference to his mental health and well-being.
The Independence Project is the most amazing, positive place for our young people. All of the staff are so positive and cheerful and make it a really fun and relaxed place to be. Jamie wouldn’t have coped as well last year without the help and support of Andrew and his team – thank you all so much.