‘Someone I Know’ Training – Autism Acceptance WeekWednesday 29 March, 2023
As we move into day three of Autism Acceptance Week, we spoke to Fiona, Service Manager at our Elgin service. In September 2022, Fiona and her team completed our ‘Someone I Know’ specialised autism training.
The bespoke ‘Someone I Know’ training, developed by our Risk and Compliance Partner, Stephen aims to further Real Life Options staff’s knowledge about autism, helping staff teams better understand the needs of the people we support. The training covers how to recognise autism and its diversity, and how to make reasonable adjustments to further accommodate the autistic people we support.
As part of the training, Stephen reviewed the surroundings at the service and made recommendations about what could be changed to make the environment more suited for the people we support with autism, taking into account the ‘four areas of difference’. The four areas of difference include: communication, social interaction, sensory processing, and thinking style. Fiona says, “Stephen highlighted small things which can negatively impact autistic people that would have never occurred to the team, recommending that we change the lighting in an area of the service as the lights weren’t suited to the sensory differences of autistic people”. Whilst these aspects seem small, they are crucial to working towards providing an autism friendly environment, helping teams deliver person centred support.
Unlike most traditional training, the ‘Someone I Know’ training is interactive and conveyed in a way which is interesting and easy for staff to understand. Fiona says, “each member of staff took something slightly different away from the training, and discussed the things they learnt with each other” which led to new ideas across the team.
Fiona says “It’s the small things that make the big changes – the training has given the team a better understanding of autism, and the tools needed to be successful in supporting people”. The team continue to make small changes, applying what they learnt from the training in the day to day support they provide.