Max is a knowledgeable 18-year old man, who communicates well and loves to laugh. Max has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and needs routine so he can manage his anxiety.


"I was really bored at home and needed to come out and do something that would stimulate me and keep me calm." Max.

The COVID-19 lockdown caused a major disruption to Max’s routine and prevented him from attending college, his anxiety levels increased and led to an emotional meltdown, his parents were extremely concerned for his wellbeing.

Max was referred to the day opportunities service at ECL Loughton, the team there linked up with the health professionals working with Max to ensure a smooth transition.

Keyworker Joy worked closely with Max, she identified his interest in gardening and construction tools, learned to recognise any anxiety triggers and devised a routine that would reduce his anxiety, whilst still giving him choices.

Max commented “I was really bored at home and needed to come out and do something that would stimulate me and keep me calm. I look so forward to coming to the centre each week. I have built up an excellent relationship with my one to one and all the other staff. My days at the centre are structured as I like to know in advance what I am doing.”

Joy added “we have seen a significant improvement in Max’s concentration, when he first joined his maximum attention span was 20 minutes, now he engages in tasks such as painting and restoring for almost an hour. He is trying activities he initially rejected and getting pleasure from learning independence skills such as tea and pizza making, he is a delight to work with”

After Max’s 6-week review Max’s mum commented “Joy is very professional, she is positive, encouraging, and gives Max the confidence he needs. The activity programme Joy has come up with is great and it's nice to have a copy so Max can see what he is doing in advance.

Thank you, ECL for making Max enjoy his time at ECL and for making him look forward to every single session.”

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