Our birthdays are an exciting time for many – a special day to look forward to, a highlight of the year. But for Freddie, a gentleman we support, even the sound of the Happy Birthday song or people wishing him a happy birthday can send him into a spiral of anxiety and challenging behaviour.
Freddie’s dislike of the acknowledgement of his birthday created a unique issue for his staff team. They wanted to make the day special, enjoyable and memorable for him, whilst avoiding anything that could cause him any anxiety.
But how can you do justice to a birthday with no well wishes or birthday cake? Well, with a bit of hard work and thinking outside of the box, it turns out more easily than they’d initially thought!
The team planned a day full of Freddie’s favourite activities. When he woke in the morning, it was to his favourite staff member, Justine and they ate a delicious breakfast together.
He was then supported to go to the swimming baths, where he was met with a lovely surprise.
The team had organised for his friends Stephen and Sammy to be there too, creating their own little pool party.
The trio had so much fun, swimming and splashing and playing Freddie’s favourite game of dunking.
This is where Freddie holds your hands up, counts to three and whilst you cry out “No, please, no!” in a jokey manner, he throws you back and you fall dramatically into the water, much to his amusement!
Freddie was visibly relaxed, laughing, joking and interacting with members of the public throughout the visit.
Swimming is one of his favourite activities and he is supported to go on a weekly basis, which not only helps him to keep fit but provides great social interaction with his friends, too.
Afterwards, the group went to their local pub for lunch where tables had already been booked and lunch was enjoyed by all.
So, for a birthday without well wishes and cake, the team did incredibly well to give Freddie an active, enjoyable day to remember in the local community.