Case Studies2018-01-26T21:25:51+01:00

Our members and staff describe the difference HOPE has made to the lives of their children and young people. The names and details in the reports below have been altered to anonymise the information contained within.

  • Celine – age 5
  • Jason – age 6
  • Julie – age 6
  • Luke – age 6
  • Mark – age 6

  • Grant – age 7
  • Anna – age 9
  • John – age 10
  • Nicole – age 10
  • James – age 11
  • William – age 11

  • Anthony – age 12
  • Henry – age 14

  • Taylor – age 16
  • Paul – age 17
  • Patrick – age 24

Celine – Age 5

Previously, Celine was generally quiet and preferred spending time by herself, but this has developed recently. Staff have reported that Celine regularly initiated interaction with other young people in her group, including asking others to play games with her. She also participates very well within group sessions and structured activities.

Sarah Parker, Senior Group Worker, May 2017

Mark – Age 6

Mark has been doing fantastic in the groups. He was not attending consistently at first, however since receiving the wheelchair Mark has been attending almost every week. He has settled in really well to the group and enjoys interacting with the other children during free play.

Staff noticed that Mark found it difficult to transition from free play to tidy up/activity time, resulting in him crawling under the tables and refusing to hand toys back. With Mark’s regular attendance, we have been able to implement effective strategies to help him cope with transitioning between parts of the session. Mark is given reducing 15/10/5 minute reminders before it is time to tidy up. Activities are adapted to suit his interests in order to more easily facilitate his transitions, e.g. for Halloween Mark did not want to make a spider picture out of different materials so he made a vampire instead, using the same materials and developing the same skills.

I have observed and noticed a great difference in his social interaction skills. Mark will initiate play with other children and is also able to take turns in interactions and with toys with support from staff. His attention span, ability to understand instructions and ability to cope with transition has also progressed. It has been a pleasure to witness Mark’s fantastic progress.

Hayley, Senior Group Worker, June 2015

Luke – Age 6

Luke has made great progress since the groups returned in August 2015. Luke has participated in all 16 activities that have taken place during the sessions that he has attended. He has shown interest in all activities and has been happy to try new things. Luke has received 11 ‘no’ cards and 6 ‘warning’ cards. Staff felt that Luke found it difficult to share toys, however after implementing strategies and with use of visuals to help with this, L’s behaviour had improved. He is now able to cope really with the turn taking and seems to have an understanding of the concept of sharing. Luke has also created friendships with some of the other young people in the group. Luke at first struggled to initiate play with other children, however, this is something he now feels confident in doing. It has been lovely to see the start and progression of friendships over the last few months.

Hayley, Senior Group Worker, January 2016

Jason – Age 6

Jason has progressed really well over the last few weeks of groups before finishing up for the Christmas break. Since returning in August 2015, Jason rarely removed his jacket and hat when coming into the group. However as the months progressed, he gradually removed his hat more often and eventually took his jacket off for the Christmas party. This is a major achievement for Jason, showing that he is becoming more comfortable in the HOPE environment.

Hayley, Senior Group Worker, January 2016

Julie – Age 6

In previous sessions, Julie found difficulty communicating her needs to staff, requiring prompting for explaining to staff if she needed to visit the bathroom or if she was thirsty. Julie usually speaks in one word sentences, avoids eye contact, and generally behaves in a shy manner. She displays a preference towards interacting with adults and staff over her peers.

This month, staff report that Julie asked a staff member if she could use the toilet, without prompting, for the first time. She has become more vocal in recent weeks, responding to staff encouragement by using longer sentences in speech and interacting much more with both staff and her peers. Julie has also participated in all group activities this week and has enjoyed all of the group’s ‘people play’ games, such as ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ and ‘hide and seek’.

It has been great to see Julie responding positively to staff support and enjoying her group more than ever.

Derek Russell, Senior Group Worker, May 2017

Grant – Age 7

Grant is doing well in his group, getting involved in all aspects of the sessions and contributing well to each group. He knows every staff member by name and is able to chat to them, forming bonds with particular staff and peers in his groups. He and his friends play well both using toys and devices like iPads and more active games like ‘tig’.

Grant shows a specific interest in finding more out about those around him. He takes time to learn about other group members and staff, remembering specific family cars and recalling details about each person.

Sarah Parker, Senior Group Worker, May 2017


Anna – Age 9

Anna is new to her group and has settled in very well, forming close friendships with the older members of the group and acting as a calming influence on them. She has already formed strong bonds with certain group members, but shows interest and enthusiasm for interacting and helping her younger peers as well. She is keen to get involved in activities and displays enjoyment at being part of the group.

Sarah Parker, Senior Group Worker, May 2017


John – Age 10

John has recently started a new group, settling in very well since arriving after the Easter break. This transition was made easier for John as others from his group moved up at the same time. John has displayed no challenges to taking part in activities in the group, interacting well with her peers in every instance.

Derek Russell, Senior Group Worker, May 2017


Nicole – Age 10

Nicole is currently thriving in her group. Where previously she displayed limited interest in communicating with others, preferring to focus on specific group members, she has become much more interested in initiating conversations with other people. This was most evident when she greeted, worked with, and chatted with a volunteer who had never previously worked in the session. Additionally, she has displayed a willingness to try new activities and foods at snack over the last few weeks.

In general, Nicole has displayed a greater engagement with group sessions and her peers. This is a fantastic achievement for her and is excellent to see.

Sarah Parker, Senior Group Worker, May 2017


James – Age 11

James previously displayed a variety of challenging behaviours, ranging from verbal inappropriateness to violence towards staff and peers. Using the group’s behavioural reinforcement strategies, James has become more comfortable in the group and has displayed a dramatic reduction in challenging behaviour.

The group’s behavioural reinforcement strategy is based on a coloured card system, used for recording and measuring developments in behaviour for support purposes. James’ behaviour and overall enjoyment of the group has become more positive.

This is a tremendous success for James, who has proved to staff that he has become more patient, accepting, and skilled at self-regulation relating to his emotions and reactions to stressful situations. Staff regularly comment on his increased maturity and visible enjoyment of the group.

Callum, Senior Group Worker, January 2016


William – Age 11

William previously attended ASN tennis at Ravenscraig, with support from HOPE. He has also attended karate, but doesn’t want to return to either class. Generally sports classes are too busy and noisy for William, as he prefers a quieter class. William also has a hearing loss, which causes difficulty for him at times.

William does like to try new things, usually losing interest in a few weeks, however he has been taking swimming lessons at the Tryst in Cumbernauld, through HOPE. He always has a fantastic time and is always very keen to return to the class.

He seems more focused at swimming than he has at any other sports class, and has definitely learned new skills. He is certainly more confident at swimming as a result of the class. William does want to continue with lessons; it is great to see him happy to do this activity and it is great exercise for him!

Judith, parent and HOPE member, March 2017

Anthony – Age 12

Recently Anthony’s group visited a grass park behind the HOPE Centre for our session. Staff were nervous that Anthony would not enjoy the change in being outside for the session and would be frustrated; however, he was the first to run on to the grass area and had a fantastic time. He played games with his friend, rolled down hills, and enjoyed a group game of ‘tig’.

Anthony is relatively new to the group but has settled very well, thriving in the quieter sessions and responding well to the one to one support which has been provided to him.

Sarah Parker, Senior Group Worker, May 2017

Henry – Age 14

Henry was regularly reluctant to participate in any group activties, finding reasons not to join in with his peers at every instnace. Through support and encouragement from staff, he now participates in almost all activities. Henry contributes lots of ideas to group discussions, suggesting activities for himself and his friends, displaying a great effort to get involved and take ownership of their group content.

Karen Cassidy, Senior Group Worker, May 2017

Taylor – Age 16

Taylor enjoyed her group but was noticeably quiet. She would only speak to one other girl in the group, and staff. Both girls liked to keep to themselves and did not interact with their peers.

Taylor’s friend moved on from this group, leaving Taylor feeling slightly lost. Taylor was offered a trial session of a different group to see if this environment would be more beneficial to her. While very nervous, she was willing to try it.

It has taken some time to build up to this, but Taylor is now comes in to her group much happier. She tries many different activities and engages in a range of different aspects within. She has one to one support, which has facilitated a new confidence in Taylor, who now shows a wonderful sense of humour that was previously unknown to staff.

Karen Cassidy, Senior Group Worker, May 2017

Paul – Age 17

Paul was happy in his group but did not interact with any other young people, preferring to communicate and engage with staff. We decided to move Paul to a more social group and this has turned out to be a great decision for his development.

Paul’s confidence has grown tremendously, now interacting with many of his fellow young adults with minimal support from staff. Staff have reported that he appears much more comfortable in a group environment, showing a great sense of humour as he entertains both his friends and staff.

As part of being in this social group, Paul now takes parts in trips and activities out-with the HOPE Centre much more regularly than before. As a result of this, staff have noted that Paul now puts more attention into his appearance and presentation. His family have also reported a huge difference in him and are delighted with his development.

Karen Cassidy, Senior Group Worker, May 2017

Patrick – Age 24

I first joined HOPE for Autism in 2002 where I went swimming at the John Smith Swimming Pool in Airdrie. HOPE started various youth groups in 2003 and I joined a group that was on every Wednesday night until I left the organisation in 2013.

When I got older, I joined a befriending scheme, which the organisation had started, and had 2 befrienders who I went out with socially to various places, which included the cinema, bowling and restaurants etc. This helped me become better at socialising and going out with friends, giving me the incentive to arrange days and nights out with my friends and I started doing this more regularly.

When I went to the group, the youth leaders would ask what we all did at weekends and I’d tell them about a day or night out I had and they would often tell me that they thought I was improving on my social skills and communication abilities and this made me feel happy and increased my confidence.

HOPE has made a huge difference to my life. I’ve met many great friends from my time there throughout the years and feel that their various programmes have improved my abilities to find employment, communicate and go out socially with my family and friends.

Having autism is one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever had to cope with in my life and I still have difficulty coping with it today.

I hope my story can give families affected by autism some encouragement and I hope they find this helpful. If I can make something of my life and be able to go out socially or order food in restaurants etc, then I can’t see any reason whatsoever why other autistic children or young adults can’t do exactly the same.

I’ll always be right behind those with autism and will support them all the way. I wish them every success in their lives and future ambitions.

Patrick, former HOPE member, June 2015