I am writing this letter in both support and thanks to Moses and the staff at Pride lands. As we are all aware my son has some very complex difficulties that make day to day things a lot more challenging for him than it may be for other children his age and therefore working with him is not a simple task.
He first started at Pride lands over 5 years ago and it has not been an easy journey there has been inappropriate behaviour, foul language, violent outbursts, destruction of property and making others feel unsafe as well as numerous other “undesired behaviours”.
From the very beginning Moses and his staff were eager to get to know my son and to learn out what it is that makes him who he is, what motivates him and what triggers him. When he first started at Pride lands his behaviour was all over the place he was very unsettled in a constantly changing environment. He would be very noncompliant with staff until he built up a relationship with them and things would settle down for a while.
Unfortunately due to life changes there were many staffing changes and with this we noticed a rollercoaster like effect with his behaviour.
Through the periods of unsettlement his behaviours would escalate only to then calm down again and settle out into a more manageable state.
When this was noticed Moses and I discussed having a one on one support person for my son so that there was at least one constant person that would always be there for him and to help guide him through social interactions that he struggles with. We decided that this would be a good idea to implement and Moses very kindly offered to cover half the cost of this person’s wages as it was at the time in my son’s best interests.
Moses and I both spoke and agreed that removing him from the programme would not help him to learn to cope in such situations. I am more than aware that this was against the wishes of other families. We used the one on one support person for the duration of a term and reassessed the need for this. He had made some great improvements and we decided to trial him without the support and to just monitor the situation closely.
We did notice that his behaviours had started escalating once again as he was in a heightened state of anxiety about the changes with staff and no longer having his support person there to help him. At this point Moses let me know that he was planning on coming in and running the programme himself with other staff members. My son has always known that Moses is someone who will support him, help him with obstacles and also will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour. He feels a lot more secure when his environment is predictable so, knowing that Moses will be there every morning and afternoon has enabled him to feel more at ease while at Pride lands.
Over the past year he has made a huge amount of progress while at Pride lands. He is able to recognise when he is feeling angry or frustrated and will now approach the staff to express what has happened before finding a way to calm down. This is a big step for him as he often feels that things are unfair towards him. Pride Lands have been able to create a place where the children know that the staff will listen to them and really hear what they are trying to say. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out the way they want it to but just knowing that they have been heard and have their feelings acknowledged often makes them feel better.
There are a few various children at Pride lands who have many different needs but none of them are singled out they are all included in everything
My son has grown hugely within himself and this in part is due to the support provided by Moses and his staff. He now looks forward to starting an internship with Pride Lands so that when he is old enough he can work with Moses and the team to help other children have a happy and positive experience.