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Interview with Sam Kilpatrick – Service User from Brighton

Sam is supported via the Brighton Outreach team and regularly attends the Carlton Centre.  He is passionate about promoting Autism Awareness and is a great person to talk to about the kind of Autism specific strategies that work for him.  Sam answered the questions we put to him with support from his support worker, Rebecca Dook.

“I like support workers to give me my own choice but I also like it when they have a few suggestions” 


1. Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Sam Kilpatrick I am 26 and I have autism. I have been going to Carlton Hill (resource centre) for a number of years and I really enjoy it!


2. What are your strengths and what do you find more difficult?

I am very observant, considerate and I have a very good memory. I have a brilliant sense of humour and I’m very pro-active in raising awareness of autism. I try to find strategies to cope with anxiety. I use my iPad to learn new computer skills and to develop my social media skills to promote and discuss autism. My difficulties are managing my anxiety and reading and writing but I get a lot of support with this through widgets and help from a support worker.


3. What autism specific strategies do you use and why?

Widgets, social stories, I used to use a worry book but this has now been replaced with worry and solution sheets. I have also downloaded the anxiety app Molehill Mountain and have found this very useful as well.


4. What is most important to you about the support you get?

I like support workers to give me my own choice but I like it when a support worker has a few suggestions, but not too many as this is overwhelming. I like to have my widgets in advance so I know who is supporting me the following week. I like to have various people supporting me and I like to interview potential support workers to see if I get on with them. I used to have one support worker for 6 hours and now I have two support workers splitting the session to a 3 hour session, which I much prefer because of the variation.


5. What new things have you learnt to do or new experiences have you had?

I have enjoyed going to the pier for a walk and I find the sound of the sea very calming. I like going to a place called cafe Dominica, which is a cafe partly ran by people with learning disabilities. I really enjoy taking Juliet’s dog Murphy out for walks and I also enjoy dog walking at the RSPCA. My favourite cafe is Starbucks because the staff are very friendly and I like visiting other Starbucks in Brighton and Hove.


6. What are your favourite things to do?

My morning coffee is very important to me so I like to start the day with a visit to a cafe. My absolute favourite thing is the AS Charity van and if I get the chance to go for another ride in it I would be very happy!


7. What advice would you give to support staff so they do their job in the best way possible?

Not to overload me with information. It is very important that support workers are patient and calm, especially if I’m feeling stressed or anxious.


If you would like more information about the resources that Sam uses please contact Meraud