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Therapists support Owen to make choices

Therapists support Owen to make choices
Owen Schreurs-Barnett has taken the first step to communicating his choices.

It may look like a simple pressing of a switch – it is a big red button – but for Owen and his team it’s the result of months of hard work.

Like all National Star learners, Owen has a team of therapists who work together with him to achieve his goals.

The 20-year-old, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, communicates yes and no through expressions and gestures and has limited control of his arms.

Through Owen’s sheer determination and the support of his physiotherapy and aquatic therapy teams, he can now move his arms down to hit a switch if it is placed in a certain position.

Owen is passionate about cakes and jazz music and his therapists and support team have tapped into those passions to motivate him.

‘The first time Owen managed to use the switch to turn on the music he broke out in the biggest grin. To watch the effort he put into that movement and to see that smile when he realised what he had achieved made all the work worthwhile,’ says Stuart Saxon, Senior Tutor – Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities, at National Star.

‘What Owen has achieved in his first year at National Star is incredible. I can see such a difference. It’s amazing to see what Owen is doing with both hands and how his communication is getting better,’ says his mother Jackie Barnett.

Find out more

Find out more about our Future Choices programme or contact the Admissions team at or on 01242 534928.

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