Developing skills

Tim shares his story ...

Achieving Ambitions

Tim has autism and was 28 when, as he describes it, he “first found shelter under the Autism Initiatives umbrella.”

In our supported living service, Tim adds, “I’d achieved very little in my life. But in the three years I’ve been coming here I’ve been to Rome and learned a foreign language. All I needed was a little encouragement to get me to where I needed, or wanted, to be.”

Tim had another ambition: to play the guitar. At the age of 29 he went to his first guitar lesson, thanks to help from his senior support worker Nick. “I could see how happy he was. And when he bought his own guitar I’ll never forget the look on Tim’s face; he looked so proud of himself. Talking to Tim on the way home it turned out this was the first thing of value he had ever been able to buy himself saying he had always relied on second hand or being given things.”

Brilliant progress

Tim decided to play his song at an open mic night. “One day I decided to do it but I was nervous. As the hour drew nearer, I became more apprehensive. I was asked to play my song in the interval and I nervously agreed. The hour was upon me. It was my time to shine. Or else die in front of everyone. I started up and just went for it. My voice was not great as I was so nervous and my playing sounded even worse. I kept getting the chords wrong and when I did it sounded awful. I was embarrassed. But I’d started and just tried to sing and not make too many mistakes. My efforts were caught on video for posterity. When I watch it back it is cringe-worthy, but not as bad as I thought. And people seemed to like it. I’m very glad that I did it and that I saw it through to the end. But I don’t see myself repeating it any time soon. I’m no Eric Clapton but it wasn’t as bad as I thought.”    

Nick added, “We’re all extremely proud of Tim and this is a sign of the brilliant progress he has made since coming to Autism Initiatives. Tim would find it difficult to even look forward and plan an activity, now he’s already thinking about possible destinations for his holiday next year. It really is lovely to see.”

Tim summed it up, "I feel that doors have been opened now that were not open before. Being here fills me with optimism – I’ve been shown that more things are possible and with the right support I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I live every day rather than just go through the motions. I can look forward to the future now.”
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