Image of Matthew with smile on his faceMatthew: Changing Perceptions

Matthew moved to Brantford in February 2017 after turning 18.  Being from a different community, the Brantwood team has worked hard to hear his voice and prioritize his goals of registering for school, getting to know what his new community offers, and making some new connections.

Starting school was important to Matthew and provided opportunities to learn and develop friendships with other students his own age.  Through the dedicated efforts of the Direct Support Professionals and Supervisor, Matthew registered at Tollgate High School for his Grade 12 academic year.  Since starting in September, attending academic and life skills classes in the Autism program, the Educational Assistants provide the support and encouragement to ensure Matthew’s success.  Matthew is developing new life skills including personal safety, communicating non-verbally, and feeling more comfortable in his community.

Matthew loves his new High School! When he wakes up in the morning the first thing he does is get his backpack ready. He looks forward to catching up with his friends, teachers, and educational assistants.

Matthew’s teacher at Tollgate, Mrs. Dyment, notes that Matthew loves music; everything from African Drums to Mozart. She says that he is “wonderfully social and good at communicating what he wants.”  She points out that “he enjoys getting out and going places and is completely flexible about the destination. For Matthew, getting there is half the fun.”

Brigette O’Neill, Director of Operations, celebrates the Direct Support Professionals supporting Matthew saying “the real gift in all of this isn’t just the routine of going to school, or his right to education, but rather that the supports Brantwood has provided has helped to change how the school, the community, and his friends see Matthew. That is one amazing accomplishment.”