Adam is surrounded by a dedicated support circle. This circle includes immediate and extended family and friends who volunteer their time eagerly and regularly to come together to support him to build a life of meaning and connection. Circles recognise that families are experts in their own lives. They evolve, starting small and building gradually. You do not have to have a big extended family or lots of friends to start a circle. A circle can start with one or two people.
While his extended family has always been present in his life, Adam’s circle has intentionally created a space for a higher level of engagement. A circle provides a structure enabling families to connect, learn and to provide support. Being invited to join a circle gave people close to Adam and his family an opportunity to be involved. Circles work best when they harness strengths and skills already existing in a group.
In 2006, Adam’s family, with guidance from Judith Ellis (Family Advocacy), established a small circle, mainly comprising close family members. Setting and attaining goals involves lots of preparation work, flexibility, communication and time. The original focus was on planning for Adam’s life after school. The circle met regularly and discussed how to create opportunities for Adam to socialise with his cousins and peers. Developing a variety of other roles for Adam, including those of volunteer and worker were also prioritised.
Watch this video to find out more about one of Adam’s many valuable roles.