The day-care centre offers persons with autism a wide variety of workshops and activities that take account as far as possible of their needs, skills and interests.
The aims of the activities on offer are as follows :
- to ensure learning retention and improvement
- to promote verbal and non-verbal communication
- to provide a daily social environment that is dignified and interesting
- to provide a commendable daily work activity
There are currently 30 people using the day-care centre which is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 to 16.30. They are the 20 residents of the Foundation’s three homes, as well as external visitors who come every morning and return each evening either to their families or to another institution. The centre also opens its workshops throughout the year to occasional visitors who stay in the designated short-term accommodation. The care ratio is 2 educators for every 6 adults with autism.
The people who use the centre work mainly in one of the four large workshops that are the kitchen, the laundry, the garden and the do-it-yourself handywork workshop. In addition, they make take part in sports and other community activities such as waste sorting (SIDEC), deliveries and cultural activities.
The kitchen team prepares a daily midday meal for the twenty or so people who lunch at the day-care centre. Each and every person finds an activity that is suited to his/her level and abilities, be it peeling, slicing, emptying the dishwasher, setting and clearing the tables, washing and drying dishes, taking peelings to the compost, making biscuits or preparing pots of jam. Lunch is prepared every morning. In addition, the kitchen team prepares supper for one of the hostels, and one afternoon per week is set aside for pastry-making or creating new products.
The standard range of goods on offer, e.g. different kinds of pesto, vegetable salsa, gooseberry jam, plum jam etc., has been widened thanks to a successful collaboration with the garden workshop team. The kitchen team was inspired by the variety of fruits and vegetables in our gardens to launch new jam creations such as elderberry and blackberry or courgette and apple. When the stores are empty out of season, the team produces other jams such as rhubarb and banana, cape gooseberry and mango, pumpkin and coconut, strawberry, and so on.
Smaller seasonal projects, such as drying oranges for advent wreaths, or making different kinds of tea or pesto ensure that the kitchen workshop offers a varied and enriching work environment.
The laundry workshop team has the significant task of taking care of all of the Foundation’s linen (towels, sheets, face-cloths etc.). Loading and emptying the washing machines, ironing, folding, sorting and transporting linen between the different homes and workshops are all jobs done by this team.
The laundry team is also responsible for the Foundation’s recycling. Cardboard and glass are taken every Thursday afternoon to the recycling centre (SIDEC) in Wiltz. The laundry team also distributes cleaning and other household products such as soap, wipes, nappies, gloves, etc.
Outside their usual tasks, while machines are running, members of the team busy themselves with other tasks such as labelling pots of jam or tea from the kitchen workshop, customising pins and keyrings using a special machine, or giving a hand in administrative tasks such as stamping envelopes and shredding papers. The custom-made pins and keyrings remain hugely popular with clients.
The garden workshop team looks after the two kitchen gardens as well as a greenhouse where green plants, flavourings, herbs and flowers are grown. Sowing seeds, planting seedlings, watering, harvesting and keeping weeds at bay are all part of the team’s daily work. The fruit and vegetables that are picked during the year are for our own needs in the daily meals. Depending on the season, the members of the garden team are kept busy preparing various articles for sale, such as pots and baskets of flavourings and herbs, flower arrangements for Easter, Advent wreaths and flower bowls for All Saints Day.
Garden team members also play their part in maintaining tools and keeping the site clean (for example, collecting dead leaves, clearing paths when it snows, cutting trees and trimming bushes, repairing pallets used in the greenhouse). Tuesday afternoons are set aside for distributing drinks and food to the various centres.
During bad weather, the team may be busy in the greenhouse collecting Nespresso capsules, emptying, washing and flattening them in readiness for sending to the do-it-yourself handywork workshop.
Do-it-yourself handywork (DIY) workshop
The DIY workshop team make a variety of products all year long : table mats, keyrings, picture frames, Christmas decorations in felt, other decorations, bracelets, etc.
One of the team’s main activities is to make greetings cards for all occasions such as weddings, birthdays, christenings, communion, Christmas, as well as invitations, menus, condolence cards. Everything can be made to order. The team produces more than 17,000 cards each year! Making cards is an activity that is particularly suited to day-care centre users: the simple but varied actions involved mean that the end product is a remarkable item that has been produced in full autonomy by people with autism.
The team also produces learning kits (appropriate resources that facilitate learning for children and adolescents with autism). They also create jewellery, decorations and decorated frames using Nespresso capsules.
The DIY workshop team has another important task, which is to produce structuring materials used in the Foundation, such as timetables with pictograms, photos, social rules and notebooks. They cut out the pictograms and photos, laminate them and attach velcro strips for use everywhere in the Foundation to enable persons with autism to visualise their daily schedule.
Sport and leisure
One afternoon per workshop per week is devoted to sports. Whether it is a massage by one of the two physiotherapists, relaxing in the Jacuzzi, psychomotor training, gymnastics or a long walk, these activities support the team members’ well-being and health.
The day-care centre opened in 2002 to provide daytime activities for persons with autism.
A second day-care centre for up to 24 persons is planned for Rambrouch.
The day-care centre team of educators meets every Friday to discuss care and organisational matters relating to the various workshops.
Click here to see the list of accessories and produce made in the day-care centre