Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
Even though there are a wide range of symptoms associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASD/ASC), they are often grouped into two main categories.
- Problems surrounding social interaction, an inability to emphasize with another’s emotions, an inability to start or finish conversations or an awareness of the subtleties of conversation such as when to speak and when to listen.
- Repetitive movements of the body, twisting or picking of threads, limited and repetitive thought patterns and interests and signs of agitation if these patterns are not followed.
Other conditions are often associated with individuals who have ASD, such as depression, anxiety and ADHD.
People with ASD/ASC may or may not have an associated learning disability.
We understand that living with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) including Asperger Syndrome can make everyday life challenging and this difficulty can vary dramatically between individuals. This is why we have developed a wide range of innovative autism services which meets the needs of all the people we support and ensures a better quality of life.
At the Inspired 4 Care, our aim is to develop the skills of the people we support to help them make sense of the world around them and through person-centred care plans, encouraged to achieve their goals and aspirations. For some people this means attending college to access various courses, for others it could be work placements and other day opportunities in-line with their goals.
From the safe, structured and homely environments to a staff team with significant experience and expertise, each of our person-centred services are specifically designed to support people with autism. The specialist services we provide include:
- Specialist residential options
- Supported living and community outreach transition services
- Innovative support programmes in safe and caring environments
- Access to education and employment opportunities
- Progression through a care pathway that fulfils each individual’s maximum potential
All individuals within our residential and community-based services are supported by staff teams who have significant expertise in supporting people with autism. Each service is further supported by a dedicated Positive Behaviour Support specialist and Acres autism leads.
We believe in a multidisciplinary approach to support which is why we also work closely with other professionals including GP’s, medical professionals, speech and language therapy teams, dieticians, social workers, chiropodists, opticians, community psychiatric nurses and other specialist roles. By having these close working partnerships in place, everyone receives the required support to meet all of their individual needs.
We always involve people in deciding how they are supported, as we know that everyone diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder has their own individual abilities and preferences. Some individuals for example, may have difficulties with social interaction, whereas others may have impaired language and communication skills.
To help us to better understand a person’s interests, strengths, gifts and their need for support, we will always complete an initial autism profile for someone seeking a Acres service. This makes it easier for staff to understand the nuances in an individual’s condition and to identify cognitive abilities that may require focus.