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What is Autism?

Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD's) result from an unusual pattern of brain development, in most cases beginning before birth or during the early years of childhood, which has lifelong effects.

What causes Autism?

Complex genetic factors are the major cause in the great majority of people who are effected. In a minority, the autistic spectrum disorder is associated with pre-, peri or post natal conditions (before during or after birth) causing brain pathology, for example, tuberous sclerosis, fragile x syndrome and encephalitis complicating an infectious illness.

The Autistic Spectrum

What holds the spectrum together is an underlying combination of impairments of three aspects of childhood development. This is known as the “Triad of Impairments’. This triad comprises:

  • Impairments of social interaction.
  • Impairments of social communication.
  • Impairments of social imagination.

Different people are affected in widely different ways. Some people are profoundly disabled, while at the other end of the scale, the most able people are independent in their living and working lives (a few have been recognised as having exceptional ability in the arts and sciences).

The concept of the autistic spectrum recognises this, and the term Autistic Spectrum Disorder is now widely used.

What does Safeharbour provide specifically to support people with autistic spectrum disorders?
  • By providing carers to support the people living at Safeharbour, who are skilled and
    experienced in caring for the individual’s every need. This includes:
  • Training and Induction
  • Appropriate recruitment procedures
  • Support from experienced and skilled management
  • Specific detailed care plans to follow (PCP's)
  • By providing clear methods of communication adapted of the level of ability of the individual.
  • By providing people living at Safeharbour with 'continuity of care', having the same boundaries, the same carers with the same approach and the same expectations of them (consistency in care).
  • By providing an organised predictable structure for each day - tailor made to the individual dependent on their needs and wants.
  • By providing the appropriate ratio of carers to clients (at least one carer each if not more) to facilitate their life dependent on their needs.
  • By providing carers to encourage individuals to participate in a wide range of activities as part of their daily life.
  • By providing calm, confident, patient, detached, unemotional carers who use a low arousal approach but have genuine positive feelings for the individuals living at Safeharbour.
  • By providing the individuals with a calm, quiet and well organised environment.
  • By providing carers who are aware of noise and other sensory stimuli. Safeharbour carers supports people who are over sensitive to different kinds of sensory input.
  • By ensuring that carers have an understanding that people within the autistic spectrum. have and learn in ways that differ from those people with typical development.
  • By ensuring that carers encourage the people living at Safeharbour to develop social skills and skills that will help them cope with and manage their anxiety in social situations.
  • By providing carers who encourage the people living at Safeharbour to develop and maintain skills in a wide range of settings.
  • By providing carers who encourage the people living at Safeharbour to use amenities and facilities in the local community for educational, occupational and leisure purposes.
  • Safeharbour provide access to and encouragement to take part in structured and organised activities that are appropriate to the individuals level of ability and special interests, providing a basic form structure but allowing enough flexibility within the framework to sustain the interest of the individual.
  • Safeharbour provide carers who support the people that live at Safeharbour to have realistic expectations for their future.
  • Safeharbour provides individuals with appropriate accommodation to meet their individual needs and wants.
  • By providing carers who carefully monitor individuals living at Safeharbour, ensuring their health issues are responded to appropriately and medication is administered and stored appropriately.

Apply a Person-Centred-Approach

Each individual’s care is planned using a person-centred approach. Each individual is assessed for their needs and a plan of are formulated to meet their needs.

Managers and keyworkers formulate extensive risk assessments so that carers are aware of safety and danger issues for each individual and Behaviour
Support Plans so that carers are guided and advised how to help the individual live life to the full as well as how to support the individual when experiencing
anxious, distressing or aggressive episodes in their life.
Each individual living at Safeharbour has clear Person Centred documentation that records their life, needs, behaviours, family contact, health problems, activities, diet and medication.

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