Noah started his Hamlet journey on the 7th September 2018 (along with his parents to settle and support him). After a week we noticed that Noah was showing signs of separation anxiety at periods when Mum or Dad were not present. Noah showed this in his behaviour, having meltdowns whilst he was waiting to come into the room and becoming very distressed for prolonged periods of time. Noah was clearly communicating his need to go home as he continuously led an adult to the door. However, by using distraction techniques and intense adult interaction Noah started to develop established relationships with members of staff and he settled for short periods of time and felt a little safer at The Hamlet.
After many observations of Noah in the sessions it was clear that Noah was confused by his environment and had high levels of sensory needs that were not being met, combined with extreme anxiety and no way to communicate his needs. The Hamlet team discussed what we could put in place to help Noah and decided that his environment needed to be as visual and predictable as possible with regular intervals of sensory input, which for Noah consisted of bouncing, deep pressure when stressed and a chew toy for the constant mouthing he was doing. We also needed to reduce his frustration by supporting his communication which was done Through visual aids and an intense behaviour plan to support him throughout his day. This consisted of Noah coming into session five minutes before the other children with the support of a familiar adult meeting him with a now and next board, accompanied by his favourite toy at The Hamlet.
The first time we tried this Noah showed signs of resistance, but with perseverance and a consistent approach, Noah began to settle and enjoy his day at preschool. We set up a safe place for him to go in the room and allowed him access to the gym ball at several intervals in the day.
Each session was slowly becoming more and more successful for Noah and we slowly watched his anxiety levels drop. He now waits to be shown his pictures in the morning and comes into the playroom happily even when Mum and Dad leave. He smiles at the familiar adults within the room and seeks out interaction when he needs it. Noah thrives on the interactions and pictures shown to him and clearly appreciates the visuals given. He is now transferring these skills into his home environment providing Noah’s parents with similar resources.
Noah has only been with us for five weeks and is still at the start of his Hamlet journey, but his progression has been phenomenal and we are all very excited about his potential achievements as he is an amazing little boy with huge potential.