Mathew has autism and as part of his disability he has some mild verbal communication difficulties, he also processes things differently and finds it hard to concentrate so needs instructions or information to be delivered in clear bite sized chunks. It’s also important to Matt that he has a regular routine with fairly regular people in his life.
How long have you been using the centre?
Around 2 years.
What does Matt do at The Wingate Centre?
Matt visits the centre with his carer on a weekly basis to do a one hour session in the gym with our coaches and Ainsley, another young adult with autism. Matt is currently working through his BG gymnastic proficiency awards and towards our very own Wingate Awards! In his sessions Matt uses a range of apparatus from the trampoline, the rings, the beam and carries out floor work too.
Benefits of visiting The Wingate Centre
“Matt is a very kind hearted young man, he has a lovely nature and is very well liked not just by his support workers but by his peers too and you can see that in the way he interacts with staff and other gym goers at The Wingate Centre. Doing gym sessions at Wingate doesn’t just benefit him physically but it builds his confidence by giving him more independence to do things with his carer because he’s not treated like he has a disability and this is what we are really trying to encourage so that he can do more and more.” – Danny Fookes, Mathew’s Carer
How do the sessions here help with Matt’s disability?
Matt has come such a long way since he started – before he started at The Wingate Centre he wouldn’t socialise in an environment like this with just his carers and would sometimes run off and hide – whereas now he’s full of confidence. He loves working with Krish, Georgi and Nigel and providing he knows his carer is in the background he will work with them independently.
“It’s important that Matt is having fun in order to keep him interested and through his sessions at Wingate he’s learning to listen and respond. Matt still has his moments where he wonders off, but it’s all about understanding him and how he works and the coaches get that!” Danny Fookes, Mathew’s Carer
Although Matt has a learning disability it also affects him physically because he is very tense around the upper body, even when sleeping. Our gym coaches and Matt have been working on improving his flexibility through stretching and a range of fun exercises on the sprung floor and the apparatus. Matt can now almost move his arms straight up above his head, which is about a 45 degree increase in his range of movement. Not only are Matt’s sessions tailored to loosening up muscles they also aim to improve strength in some of his underutilised muscles like his arms too and he’s just achieved his BAGA Gymnastics Award Level 8. This is of course a fantastic boost to self esteem as well and we are very proud of Matt!