Case Studies



Peter is a 54yr old gentleman with learning disabilities. Peter lives independently; he suffered with anxiety and mental heath breakdowns, had extremely poor personal hygiene, and had no contact with his family. Peter identified his biggest difficulty as being very lonely.
Peter began attending Sport for Confidence Boccia sessions. These activities enabled him to manage anxiety, increase social opportunities to begin to address personal hygiene issues through the use of the changing rooms, all within a mainstream leisure environment. Peter associated increased social interaction with an improvement in his personal hygiene and purchased new sports clothing, further increasing his sense of belonging.
Peter is now regularly attending the Boccia and cricket group independently. He has expressed an interest in swimming and will be supported by the leisure centre to learn to swim. Peter has also begun attending college two times a week, and has reconnected with his family.



Sarah has Downs Syndrome and was the victim of a serious sexual assault from a stranger, leaving her vulnerable to exploitation (physical, sexual, financial) from others within community based social situations. Sarah struggled to behave appropriately in social situations and form relationships.
Alongside counseling, Sarah was referred to the occupational therapy service to gain support around social skills, establishing new relationships and personal safety awareness. Sarah was accompanied by an occupational therapist to the multi-sports group where it was possible to complete an assessment of her social communication and interaction skills in both group and 1:1 sporting activities.
The group provided weekly opportunities for Sarah to practice the new skills she was learning whilst also receiving positive reinforcement from the coach and other group members. This allowed the occupational therapist to present the ‘social rules’ for behaviour using visual prompts and role play. Progression through the Sport for Confidence groups encouraged Sarah to transfer her skills in to new situations and the sporting activities are selected to consist of concrete steps and repetition for learning.
Sarah has progressed to attend several other sessions within the programme and participates in Trampolining, Boccia and cricket groups. She has been to college and now attends a day service once a week, and works as a volunteer at a local swimming pool.



John has a diagnosis of mild learning disability, recurrent depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and agoraphobia. At the time of referral to the occupational therapy service, John had been unable to leave the home environment for several months due to high levels of anxiety associated with going out (including a severe phobia of public transport). John was also uncomfortable with his weight.
John began meeting an occupational therapist at home and cycling to the venue to engage in a variety of sports. He became increasingly confident, less anxious and more positive. Weekly attendance contributed significantly to the ongoing assessment and development of John’s occupational skills, and allowed teaching around healthy lifestyles and weight loss.
To attend climbing sessions, John began to independently manage travel via a combination of public transport and walking, giving him a sense of independence which translated into other areas of his life.
John took part in a Steps to Independence group to develop his functional skills in using public transport, money skills, use of a mobile phone and budgeting skill. John now gets involved with cooking sessions, he joined a local Kung Fu club, and is undertaking a bricklaying course at college. John actively promotes the Sport for Confidence Group, which has involved him jointly presenting for funding for the Boccia group.



David is a young man with a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome who was referred to the occupational therapy service having recently lost his job. David struggled with social communication, interaction skills and finding a routine, and was keen to develop vocational skills to secure paid employment.
David begun attending the ‘Sport for Confidence’ group on a weekly basis, and was quickly identified by an occupational therapist as being skilled in a wide variety of sports. He was motivated to investigate local sports clubs which allow him to progress, widen his social network and for a routine.
Rock Climbing was identified an appropriate leisure activity for David as it required him to socialise, interact and work in collaboration. The activity was graded to increase opportunities for success, increasing self-esteem and confidence. David was observed to begin to establish a rapport and friendships. David has gone on to complete a basic climbing skills course independently.
David was referred to an employment specialist who has begun supporting him through the process of securing paid employment. David’s employment advisor recognised that he had begun to transfer his continually developing social skills into other areas of his life.









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