Physical Disability & Illness: Emily and Joshua’s Story

Emily and Joshua were referred to Home-Start by their GP. Emily had long-standing mental-health issues and high levels of anxiety.  Her son Joshua (20 months) had significant developmental delay with limited mobility and communication.

Emily was feeling very negative about Joshua’s additional needs and was very anxious about leaving him with anyone else. She was feeling very isolated, and was anxious about going out with Joshua alone, as he could easily become distressed and would struggle to be calmed down.

What did we do?

Our volunteer visited Emily and Joshua for two hours a week.  Emily built up a trusting relationship with the volunteer, who also gained Joshua’s trust. As a result, the volunteer was able to suggest and provide different activities and play that both Emily and Joshua joined in with.

The volunteer was also able to support Emily in implementing advice and strategies from other professionals.

She gave consistent feedback to Emily, which enabled Emily to take a step back and see the positive progress Joshua was making.

Emily’s confidence grew and the volunteer supported Emily and Joshua on trips to the park and encouraged activities outside of the home.

What difference did we make?

Emily increased in confidence which enabled her to get help from other agencies and implement strategies at home.

Although she still struggles with anxiety, Emily has learnt to better manage situations she finds difficult.

Joshua’s connection with another adult helped Emily with thinking about accessing a pre-school for Joshua.  Emily talked through her concerns with the volunteer and at the end of the volunteer’s support planned to explore other groups and pre-schools for Joshua.

Emily also felt more able to leave Joshua with another responsible adult and to make space for her to have a break herself.

Joshua’s confidence increased and he was more willing to tackle new things and explore a wider range of play activities and these contributed to developing his mobility.

Emily feels much more positive about the future, is more confident about taking Joshua out and possibly attending more group activities.

Emily said:

“It’s been a pleasure and a massive help having her come to visit”

*Names have been changed

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