In the summer of 2021, Oliver’s family contacted Autism Early Support to seek help from our Outreach Team. He was finding his current childcare setting challenging, which had only been exacerbated by the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. His current setting was overwhelming as Oliver needs consistency, predictability and adjustments for his sensory differences.

Oliver joined our specialist Circle Centre Nursery in September 2021 and it would be an understatement to say a lot has changed during his time with us. For the first year he wouldn’t access the building, choosing only to play in the garden and needed to throw things constantly or be pulled in a trailer along a set route, to support his interest and wellbeing. However, he formed a strong relationship with his Key Worker and familiar adults. Session-by-session, things began to change.

The adults respected Oliver’s need for time and space, and in turn, he developed his trust in them. He became more relaxed, more content and sought comfort from adults after a meltdown.  This has enabled him to feel more content and relaxed and as a result, his character started to shine through.  He has a phenomenal memory, eye for detail and an infectious sense of humour. 

Oliver made leaps of progress in: his awareness of others; picking up non-verbal cues; using vocalisations and non-verbal signals to communicate; and engaging with and understanding his environment. 

Since attending the Circle Centre Nursery he is happier, has a stronger sense of self, is becoming more independent, and is more flexible and tolerant.

Comments from Oliver’s mum:

“When Oliver first started at the Circle Centre Nursery he was already suffering with anxiety around school and being left in the care of others. Oliver struggled to enter enclosed spaces, relying heavily on regulation methods through sensory play and had no reliable method of communication.

The Circle Centre staff embraced Oliver’s every high and low, his every good and bad day, and celebrated every single achievement – big or small. Oliver thrived in the setting, going inside to attend group activities, finding friends and interacting with play. He can now follow verbal cues and use object references to communicate a little more.

We could not be more grateful to the Circle Centre staff; the continued support and the limitless patience they have shown our son has seen him turn into a strong, confident little boy with a keen interest in learning more and discovering new things.

The service was transformative to us as a family, and it’s difficult to overstate the number of significant changes that we have observed and are grateful for.

May 2024 Oliver’s mum got in touch to share some photos and let us know how he’s getting on, here’s a snapshot:
School’s going exceptionally well and Ollie’s really enjoying it. He recognises the uniform in the morning and knows it’s a school day. He’s built relationships with new staff and is particularly fond of his forest school teacher,(who has the same outside play perseverance and weather endurance that he was lucky to have had at Circle Centre). Her willingness to stand in the rain whilst he lines cars up in the mud has really cemented their relationship!

He still loves to jump on the trampoline, and can often be found there with his jumping companion Hugo. His favourite friend to sprinkle and scatter with is his Circle Centre friend G, they often share resources like hay, leaves and sand for sprinkle /throw time together.   He’s made several new friends at school, mostly older boys, he enjoys watching them play and chase each other. Occasionally they will wave at him or say hi, and he has been known to smile or nod back. 

He’s still keen to make eye contact, and is still great around people and the hustle and bustle of social environments. He is still very cheeky, and has a cracking sense of humour!
His new favourite thing is watching himself in the mirror, especially to try on hats and recently my glasses! He has a huge new collection of hats, and has been known to approach strangers to try and take their hats 😂
Ollie vocalises a lot now. Lots of sounds and really good efforts towards words. No actual words, but his receptive language is astounding. He can transition beautifully by understanding alone and he’s so good at listening and following directions from the people he trusts.  
He is still very much into music, Father Christmas bought him a Tonie box and we managed to download all his favourite music to a Tonie so he can travel with his own music now.