We would like to share Owen’s story and the impact Epilepsy Scotland’s Youth Group has had on him.
Owen’s only carer is his mum after his dad passed away; he is non-verbal and has only a few friends at school. During the lockdowns, Owen’s mum feared her son would become withdrawn and socially isolated without school. At home, he mostly played video games on his phone.
Our Youth Worker started to communicate by text, and when they met in person, she noticed that he creatively expressed himself through drawing and writing. Owen used these methods to express his goals in the group, explore and learn through creative and fun activities.
Meeting group members online
Owen felt nervous about meeting other young people in person but was enthusiastic about meeting group members online. We applied to the Connecting Scotland fund and were able to provide Owen’s household with a laptop.
As Owen continued with the Youth Group, he made significant steps with his confidence and socialising with other young people and routinely took part in weekly in-person sessions.
He tried new sports like badminton and bowling, took on escape rooms, discovered theatre, visited the Zoo and most recently had a taster session of some Brazilian-style street drumming with SambaYaBamba Youth Street Band!
The involvement in various group activities enabled Owen to be comfortable communicating with others and build trusted relationships, something he had rarely experienced before.
He learned how to socialise with other young people and instinctively knows how to support people around him who are also non-verbal.
The laptop encouraged Owen to move away from the world of video games and allowed him to explore his creative side, using photo and video editing software.
Owen has since found a love for photography and has been signposted by his Youth Worker to a community engagement project with GMAC Film that gave Owen hands-on experience working with professionals in the film industry.