Spotlight on Autus Court
09 Dec 2016
This month the Spotlight is on Autus Court, one of our Autism-specific residential services in Barnet, North London. Acting Manager Luisa Chagas tells us how bespoke training combined with the commitment and dedication of support team members are what makes the service such a success and a true home for the four individuals who live here.
Luisa says: “We have four lovely individuals living at Autus Court and they are all doing incredibly well. Each individual who has moved into Autus Court has sadly experienced previous placement breakdowns or has stepped down from a secure setting. As a team, our aim was for them to find stability, increase their independence and live successfully in the community.”
Individuals supported here each have autism spectrum disorder and differing multiple diagnoses including sensory needs, learning disabilities, mental health issues and behaviour which may be described as challenging.
“One of the individuals we support is non-verbal and initially had limited communication skills or knowledge of methods to express her needs and make choices. This resulted in frustration and anxiety with incidents occurring several times a day. This individual now successfully uses augmentative communication strategies, supported by the team, to interact with others and fully express her thoughts and choices. We have seen a huge reduction in anxiety and incidents as a result.” Luisa adds.
The team have all received bespoke autism, communication and sensory training, specifically in intensive interaction and augmentative communication which allows us to gain a greater understanding of each person’s needs and contextualise the ‘natural ways’ in which they communicate – getting to know and understand individuals likes, dislikes, desires and wishes.
“This training, combined with a very committed support team, has been the key to each of these four individuals now feeling valued, settled, and truly happy in their homes at Autus Court. They now have the structure which was lacking in their lives previously and are now empowered – having choice in every aspect of their day to day lives and participating in a way that is meaningful to them.”
Many of the team members at Autus Court have worked at the service for a long time, having experienced a real journey with each of the people they support from their transition right through to their increased independence today.
“The real success of this service is the support worker team and their fantastic commitment and dedication – going above and beyond in their roles every day to ensure the people they support feel safe and supported in a place they can call home.” Luisa adds.
Glen Randall, Director of London Autism-specific Services, adds: “Autus Court is a lovely service that strives to ensure that the people supported are at the centre of everything they do. Each individual has active community participation which should be celebrated no matter how large or small. All the team members at Autus Court provide and have created such a warm and welcoming environment for the people they support.”
The individuals and team at Autus Court are now looking forward to the festive period with joint celebrations and plans in progress to ensure the four individuals have a fantastic Christmas 2016!