We Are Beams

Reuben’s Story

Reuben is 18 and currently lives at home with his mother and brother. Reuben has a diagnosis of Downs Syndrome, associated learning disability and autism. He attends St Nicholas’ School 6th Form Special Needs College.

Reuben finds communication difficult, he does not really like talking to new people and his speech can be slurred and unclear due to lack of muscle tone in his mouth.

Reuben does not have any friends his own age. If you ask about his friends, he will talk about his teachers and PA. He finds socialising difficult as he does not readily engage with others.
He is interested in drama and wants to work in a theatre. He has recently joined Square Pegs drama club where he will meet other people his age with the same interests.

Reuben enjoys other activities with his Personal Assistant – bowling, cinema and swimming and mum has recently purchased a kayak which Reuben is looking forward to learning to use.

Mum states that she has had no advice or help from social work staff in relation to Reuben’s transition to adulthood. She has not been provided with information about any clubs or services which might interest and support him.

No-one has spoken directly to Reuben to ask what he wants for the future, what he will do when college ends and where he will live. This is a real worry for her and what will happen to Reuben in the future and as a single parent she struggles with little immediate family support.

Beams provide Direct Payment support to the family. We are also working to provide a person-centred plan through our Brokerage Service. We have supported the family with evidence to obtain a better assessment and higher level of support from the Local Authority.

With the help of a Support Brooker Reuben will be able to create a person centred plan which will allow him the opportunity to voice how he would like to live and give him more independence and control of his life. It will also put in place an action plan for every aspect of Reuben’s desired future life to help him achieve his outcomes.

It will include social opportunities to make new friends and also utilise Reuben’s budget in the most economical way
As a result of this support Reuben’s mum has been able to negotiate an increase in his support from the Local Authority to provide overnight support that enables him to have a couple of days at a time away. This is proving really beneficial for Reuben to experience independence, understand which life skills he needs to develop and builds his personal resilience.

This means mum now can have a couple of days break from caring per month and time for her own needs. As a single mum, the support planning has given mum the support she needs to help Reuben plan and prepare for his future.


Spencer's Story