LS' Time on The SELF Project
LS is 18 years old and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has been involved with Autism NI’s SELF Programmes for over 2 years. Here is what he thinks about it.
I was having a lot of problems with other young people in the unit that I was living in and I would get angry and do things that would get me in trouble. I started with [the SELF Project] because I got into trouble with the police and I had to go to the Youth Justice Agency.
I started working with the staff member every week on different things that I wanted to achieve. We set goals and targets and I tried to achieve them every week. It wasn’t easy because I was having a hard time in my life.
I was moved to a new house and it was good that the mentoring didn’t have to stop, even though I was living in a different town.
I was still having problems with the new people I was living with and I started taking drugs and drinking. The staff member helped me to realise that these were the times that I was getting into trouble.
Then I got into more trouble with the police and I was sent to a young offenders institute.
When I got out the staff member was still there to work with me. I didn’t want to go back to the young offenders institute and he helped me to make sure this didn’t happen.
We talk a lot about how I feel about things and consequences. This helps me to make decisions. We also meet up in the community. I like this because it gets me out.
I like where I am living now and I am not getting into trouble. I think that working with the staff has given me new ways to deal with the times when I get angry.