S and S are 34 and 36 years old respectively, and both have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of Autism. Throughout their young lives, their Asperger’s has greatly challenged them and as a result they both have very complex and troubled histories.
S and S first met in a residential care home, where they both had their own rooms. Looking for romance, S joined the Stars in the Sky dating agency and was also featured on Channel 4’s hugely popular dating series, Undatable.
On the show, S was doing really well and was about to be matched to someone else, but in real life S had a secret crush and wanted S to be matched with him.
On watching S on the TV show, S was galvanised into action and realised that it was now time to let his true feelings be known to S. S asked S to be his girlfriend and they started their relationship in February 2016, whilst they were both still at the care home.
By November 2016, S was ready to move out of the residential care home and into his own supported flat but both he and S wanted their relationship to continue and develop further. S and S wanted to live together and when he was assessed for a flat at Melville House, S asked Dan, the Melville scheme Manager, if it would be possible for them to live together as a couple. S also emailed his Social Worker directly.
Fortunately, Dan knew S and S very well, as he had previously been the manager of their care home, and so the right levels of support and practical arrangements were all put in place for them.
Melville House had just opened and was therefore able to offer S and S the perfect solution, with supported accommodation to meet both their needs. They moved into a newly refurbished, spacious, 2 bedroom apartment with large living area, with an atrium and views over North Finchley and a modern kitchen. Significantly, each of them has their own large bedroom and their very own bathroom.
This spacious “penthouse apartment” as S and S call it, provides enough space for them to be able to live together and explore their new relationship, but with their own bedrooms and their own space when they need to be alone. Their apartment provides the best of both worlds.
Melville House’s experienced 24-hour support team are always on hand to support S and S with their relationship. Living together is a big step for any couple, but overcoming the challenges of their Asperger’s and living as a couple for the first time, is a true achievement.
The 24-hour support at Melville House is their safety net.
Even though there have been some inevitable challenges, the Melville House support team is always on hand to offer “couples therapy” in the form of relationship advice and guidance. Everyone is extremely proud of the way S and S have dealt with the challenges of living together, and how they have managed to support each other and positively move forward in their lives together.
S and S acknowledge that there is a real strength to their relationship. The key working sessions and support they receive from staff at Melville House, and the support that they give to each other, is enabling them to achieve so much more in their personal and working lives.
Previously, S had difficulties keeping up with her college work and completing training courses, but she has just successfully completed a Level 2 CACHE Teaching Assistant qualification and will be enrolling onto the Level 3 course in September 2017. She will also be placed in a primary school as a Teaching Assistant. Not resting on her laurels, S is still actively looking for part time work.
In the past, S has struggled to involve himself in work, study or training but this year has enrolled onto a voluntary work scheme in Barnet and is actively seeking employment. S is an experienced driver and recently applied for a job as a delivery driver.
S is also considering enrolling onto a technical training course to learn how to fix and replace broken smart phone screens. This could possibly lead to S setting up his own self-employed screen repair service.
Since moving into Melville House, S and S have been on several holidays together as a couple, with a lovely week in Wales and time at a family cottage in the country. S drives a “classic” Ford Fiesta and this allows them to sell all their old stuff at car boot sales at the weekends. They love spending time together in their own home, and like to cook, dine and watch films on the sofa.
In early 2017, S contracted septicaemia, a form of blood poisoning, after a leg wound. S has caringly supported and helped S throughout her long recovery.
S and S are evidently a very happy and compatible couple, who are clearly thriving in their life together at Melville House. As individuals they have both made huge progress and everyone is very proud of them.