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A positive pathway for Tyler

When Jack* and Tyler* started sharing a home, they discovered they have several things in common. They enjoy art, music, and cooking, to name a few. They also both have complex support needs, yet their behaviours are quite different.

The boys live in a residential care home, staffed by MacKillop carers, with a particular focus on therapeutic support. This means carers have access to specialised tools and additional time to support the boys’ needs.

Jack, who is 15, had lived in the home for some time, when he learnt that 17-year-old Tyler would be moving in. He was not keen on the idea at first. Jack has ASD and is quite particular about things being kept things in specific ways. He was happy having the space to himself. Tyler on the other hand, was excited about the prospect.

MacKillop carers gave the boys opportunities to get to know one another before the move took place. To begin with, there was some friction in the home. Jack struggles to pick up social cues, so tensions can escalate quickly.

Tyler previously lived in another home with MacKillop carers. Since moving in with Jack, carers have noted an improvement in his self-awareness and emotional regulation. Living in proximity with another young person who has a history of trauma has been a catalyst for positive change. He has demonstrated notable patience and understanding around Jack’s needs.

We’ve seen big changes in Tyler’s level of maturity. He’s worked out that when he’s feeling triggered, it’s best to leave the situation. He wouldn’t walk away from these things previously.

– Cindy Davies, House Supervisor

The boys have very different artistic styles, yet they’ve connected through doing art together. It’s provided an avenue of self-expression which they both enjoy.

Similarly, Tyler and Jack both love cooking. Jack enjoys baking and making simple cakes, whilst Tyler has been focused on learning independent cooking skills like making a hot breakfast. They’ve learnt to navigate sharing the kitchen and have adjusted to taking turns picking meals for the weekly meal planner.

MacKillop carers have recently supported Tyler to connect with a local youth group and work towards a TAFE enrolment. He is passionate about building and construction and is keen to follow this vocation pathway.

As well as settling Tyler into the home and encouraging his learning and future career, MacKillop carers supported Tyler to have regular visits with his mum, as they worked toward the goal of reunification. This was recently achieved; Tyler has moved in with his mother and is feeling positive about his future. Jack continues to build his skills adjusting to change, as he welcomes another young person into his home.

*Names changed to protect privacy