A family has enjoyed a landmark magical moment when their son, a young person at Prior’s Court, visited the family home for the first time in eight years to celebrate his mum’s birthday.

Jamie, who has been at Prior’s Court since 2014, visited his family home over the summer to attend a birthday party for his mum, Lindsey, alongside the rest of the family.

Jamie, pictured with his parents and sister, sees his family at his aunt’s house three times a year, as well as having visits to the Prior’s Court site and at off-site locations, but this was the first time since going into care in 2013 (before joining Prior’s Court) that Jamie has returned to the family home.

Lindsey said:

Sadly, due to the nature of Jamie’s autism, which has resulted in sometimes unpredictable and aggressive behaviour towards me, it was not possible for Jamie to make a visit to his home prior to this visit. But we wanted to make it possible to get Jamie home for my birthday.

Family relationships

Jamie has very close relationships with his family members, especially his sister Kaitlin (pictured together), so this visit home was an important next step not just for Jamie, but for all his family.

At the birthday party, Jamie played games with his cousins, had a tour of the house with Kaitlin and got to spend time interacting with all his family members.

Lindsey added:

Having Jamie home for my birthday, made it extra special. He was so excited when he arrived to see everyone in the garden. We all had an amazing day.

Planning and preparation

Lindsey discussed the potential for a visit with Gareth Hayward, the manager of Jamie’s on-site residential home. She and Kaitlin then spent time speaking with Gareth and Senior Autism Practitioner, Sandra Flores Campellijo, ahead of the visit to explain what had changed at the family home in the past eight years, so they could help Jamie to understand what to expect.

Jamie, pictured above with his sister and his cousins, had a social story created to help him prepare for the visit, and was accompanied to the party by Sandra and Variable Autism Practitioner Jack Seckham, who has worked with Jamie as part of the Prior’s Court Band

Alan, Jamie’s dad, said:

Jamie has changed tremendously since starting at Prior’s Court and returned to the house as a very different person.

Lindsey and Alan added:

Jamie was so well prepared, and we cannot thank Prior’s Court enough for facilitating the visit - specific thanks should go to Gareth, Sandra and Jack for all of their hard work.

Sarah Butcher, our Director of Young People’s Wellbeing, said:

Magical moments like this is what the work done at Prior’s Court is all about – giving our young people and their families occasions like this that they may never have thought they would have. We feel a close working relationship between Prior’s Court and the families of our young people is crucial to our approach and this milestone shows just what can be achieved when that bond is so strong.

Read about how we approach relationships with the families of our young people.