Sebastian is a young man who has cerebral palsy, complex learning disabilities and sight loss. He expresses himself through his hands and his body language and by responding to sounds. He lives at Heather House, which is home to young people with life-limiting and other conditions.

Sebastian is supported by Anna to feel different textures

Sebastian’s disability means he has difficulty with eating and swallowing, which is known as dysphagia. As well as being a risk to his safety, over time dysphagia can cause symptoms such as weight loss and repeated chest infections. Sebastian also needs support to build up his strength, which affects his movement, circulation and health.

Our in-house team of specialists includes Katlyne and Anna. They empower people like Sebastian, to live more independent lives so that they can make more choices about what they want to achieve from life.

Katlyne, Speech and Language Therapist at Heather House, has developed personalised strategies to support Sebastian when eating and drinking orally so he can continue to swallow safely, without having to always be tube fed. This means Sebastian can still enjoy eating foods and is not missing out on his favourite things.

Physiotherapist Anna supports Sebastian to enjoy the swimming pool and build his strength

Anna, Sebastian’s Physiotherapist, is working closely with him to build up his strength.

Anna discovered, from Sebastian’s body language and smiles, that he loves to bounce using a gym ball and trampoline, and that he has a wider range of movement than they thought.

After lots of hard work, Sebastian can now stand independently and pull himself up from the floor to standing, which means he is less reliant on a hoist. His improving strength gives him so many benefits to his health, starting with his circulation. He is now more active with more choice, control, independence and a better quality of life.

Anna says:

“Sebastian just keeps improving and is doing more. We’ll carry on trying new ideas and I’m sure he will keep surprising us and showing us what he wants to do.”

Physiotherapist Anna helps Sebastian to improve his strength using an exercise ball