We have not been able to meet at our usual venue for a few weeks, due to building work improvements.
Instead, our members met up and had a wonderful day out at a heritage railway. It was part of a birthday celebration of one of our members who likes trains. It was a first visit to a heritage railway for the members, and it helped with friendship and social skills for the group. They had the opportunity to visit the museum and gift shop before having a train ride. Our member who likes dinosaurs managed to purchase a pack of dinosaur cards, which pleased her very much.
Before a train ride, the group had a chance to sit inside the cab of the train to see the controls. For photos click button above. The photos shows our member who likes trains and whose birthday treat it was for, and other members of the group. One member wasn’t quite sure of the different noises/sounds, and found it a little daunting – photo on the right.
This environment was a completely new experience for them. Members were not used to the train sounds/noises and station activity but they all enjoyed the day. It has helped them to have a talking point of interest at the group meetings, and they can all relate to the experience, and feel part of it.
On the left, our member is being shown how to use the controls of the train from the instructor.
As were not able to have our usual room to meet, we had the birthday party of our member at a lovely church hall. Again, this is to help keep up their social/friendship skills, as they hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks. The birthday party was held at St. Nicholas Church Hall, Baddesley Ensor, Atherstone, on July 26th. As it had to be booked well in advance.
It gave our members time to adjust to the idea that it would be at a different place. A concept some of them can find difficult. It was going to be another new experience for them in a few weeks. A great deal of planning went into making it a happy time.
They all helped to put out the party food, and put up banners, and felt involved in the preparations. We set up the room as much as possible like at our usual venue. Musical equipment in a corner where they are used to be singing, and following the same routine of our music session. All these things have to be taken into consideration when planning anything for people with autism/learning disabilities to help them feel safe/secure. In photo is the lovely birthday cake.
Click here for photos of members are singing happy birthday.
Our member whose birthday it was chose to sing first. He was a little unsettled being in a different place, but started to calm down after singing his favourite song as seen in photos below.
On the left are the members who have been singing together on our pilot Friday musical express group. They decided to sing together to show the others what they have been practising.
After lunch, everyone was starting to settle and enjoy themselves. In the first photo below, some friends from a local choir that our birthday member attends, came to join him and meet the others. Very soon they were up singing along with group members, who were all happy to join in.
In the second photo below, the member is doing the actions of driving a racing car. This is improvement in his confidence skills. He decided on the actions to the song The Boys Are Back In Town, by Thin Lizzy.
During our Friday Musical Express pilot session, we are encouraging members to use actions of their choice. This member wanted to show everyone, which was wonderful to see and a positive outcome of how actions are developing their communication/confidence skills.
In the photo on the right, our local vicar the Reverend Michael enjoyed his visit, and could see how having the opportunity to be themselves was helping in building their social/friendship skills.
Our visitors were joining in with our member they see at the choir group and not in an environment like our music group. They were very surprised with his skills and choice of songs he has. This has shown other people how adults with autism/learning disabilities can enjoy music in their own way too.
In the left photo, another member wanted to sing on her own. Again, she is happy and settled in the new room. Members who have been singing together at our Friday session, also enjoyed doing a duet together.
Our visitors from the choir are singing along with another member who needed a little encouragement as shown in the photos below.
Our wheelchair user also enjoyed himself too, in the photos below.
Before finishing the party, we had group photos taken which are shown below. Everyone had a very happy time and looking forward to going back to our usual venue.