Our combined experiences of working within both education, clinical settings and learning disabilities has allowed us to develop a distinct understanding of, and approach to working with autistic people. These values and ethos are embodied in a philosophy which informs our practice.
The services provided by Edge Autism, we believe differ significantly from other more generic services. Our services are underpinned by a clear understanding of good autism practice and a person centered approach. We support an evidence-based practice approach and work applying up to date research and literature.
A person-centred approach is vital to meeting the needs of adults with autism. In 2008, the Scottish Government published Policy and practice guidance for commissioners of health and social care services for people on the autism spectrum to inform the development of health and social care services for people with autism in Scotland. This guidance says:
- be clear what outcomes are to be delivered for people with autism
- make sure that diagnosis and assessments are carried out by specially trained and qualified workers who understand the needs of people with autism
- make sure that services meet the needs of people with autism
- involve people with autism in service planning
- offer information in accessible formats.
- give autism awareness training to staff. Training should be accredited
“While people’s individual needs will differ, the starting presumption should be one of independence rather than dependence"
Transition planning: Transition planning is essential in order to describe the needs of an individual and put support in place to meet those needs as people move from school to adult life. If transition fails, young people can find themselves embedded more firmly than ever in the family home, increasing stress on the family and resulting in more isolated lives.
Edge Autism, values our staff's diverse experience and background, we employ autistic people and will often refer to their specialist knowledge, this allows our support teams to deliver outcome-based solutions.
We developed our own methodology based on research and apply the following when working not only with individuals but also their families.
Involving young people The transition process should involve the young person with an ASD, so that they can play as full a role as possible in decision-making. This will often mean preparatory work with the young person, and making sure that meetings take place on terms that are comfortable for the person with an ASD and enable them to communicate in ways which suit them.
Involving the family Transition planning is likely to be most successful if the family is involved. It is important to make sure that the family knows what to expect at meetings. In setting up transition meetings, there are a number of considerations to take into account. These include: • having clear rules for the meeting • having written timescales which include times for breaks • making sure there is an agenda • keeping language clear and simple • making sure there is a low arousal environment with no (or very little) background noise, uncluttered walls and low-effect lighting • being clear about what decisions have been made and what will happen next.
A person-centred approach is at the heart of Valuing people.
A person-centred approach involves listening to the person and making sure they are always at the centre of planning and delivery of services.
A person-centred approach is about creating and offering a life that meets the individual needs and aspirations of people with an ASD – as opposed to matching individuals to services on the basis of availability.
However, person-centred planning is not simply a ‘technique’ that can be applied using a toolkit. It is a holistic approach that involves looking at the person and their wishes, needs, abilities, goals and essential lifestyle requirements. The appropriate support that each person needs to achieve their goals can then be put in place.
This plan should be a comprehensive portrait of an individual and what they want to do with their life. It is an opportunity to bring together all the important people in that individual’s life – including family, friends, support workers, advocates and other professionals.
We define good autism practice as:
Encouraging our staff to use assessment tools, daily planners, social stories and other recognised systems that are known to be effective in supporting autistic people.
Employing autistic people as a significant resource of understanding and knowledge.
Use of knowledge of autism to understand each person’s communication, thinking and sensory differences and the impact of these on daily living.
Development of individualised approaches, to enable autistic people to maximise their existing skills and lead meaningful lives.
We are happy to discuss with you our approaches and underpinning philosophy.