Diane’s story

Diane’s face lights up at the mention of a walk round the park or visiting the local café, shopping mall or leisure centre. She not only enjoys the exercise, but the socialising aspect too. Given that Diane, who does not use speech, had no desire to go anywhere and had a weight problem, this is a huge achievement.

Helping her on this journey has been Yarrow’s healthy living plan, coupled with multimedia profiling. The profile – which contains computer images of some of Diane’s activities, as well as potential new activities – means she now makes personal choices about everyday life. Most recently, she used it to get involved in booking holidays in Lyme Regis and Hastings.

Craig's story

Craig enjoys visiting his local pub, where he is able to tell people what he wants to eat or drink. This is largely thanks to pub staff having worked with Yarrow to translate their menu into pictures that Craig – who does not use speech - understands. Staff have also been trained by Yarrow in the use of Makaton.

Craig’s own communication skills have improved drastically too, especially since Yarrow made some recordings of people he knows saying words and attaching them to pictures and objects on his ‘communication’ board.

Sharon's story

Sharon revels in Drama and Movement Therapy because it’s one way in which she can express and give vent to her feelings.  She has spina bifida and doesn’t use speech to communicate.  Sharon comes home from the drama sessions relaxed, laughing and ready for a Guinness – either at her local pub or at home, where it’s chilling in her fridge.