MacIntyre’s DNA defines our way of working with all people, including people with an autistic spectrum condition. MacIntyre supports significant numbers of people on the autism spectrum, both with and without diagnosis. The MacIntyre Autism Strategy exists to further ensure that the specific needs of people with autism (communication, social interaction, structure and predictability, sensory differences and anxiety reduction) are considered and supported in everything that we do.
Last week at the MacIntyre Autism Development Day, staff were lucky to be joined by Sarah Hendrickx, autism special consultant, trainer and author, to discuss what autism means for the people we support and how we can make a difference.
In line with the four key objectives of the Autism Strategy – participation, contribution, and finding your voice; autistic happiness; knowledgeable, connected staff and enabling environments – the group discussed various strategies that can be used to support people with autism, and used the meeting as a forum to share ideas and best practice.
One of the topics of discussion was ‘Wellbeing’ and the importance of understanding the impact of autism on an individual basis. Catherine Farrell, MacIntyre’s Person Centred Approaches Advisor, said:
“It’s extremely important to adopt a person-centred approach. While the focus today has been on autism, much of what Sarah has shared is relevant to everyone we support and emphasises the importance of understanding what is important to and for each person we support. It was great that Sarah was able to share such a wealth of knowledge and personal experience with us and the feedback from today and previous events has been extremely positive.”
At MacIntyre, we value the insights of the people we support and hearing their voice. The group watched a presentation from Tomm Collins, an autistic student who began his journey with No Limits in 2013, called ‘Autism and How Much it Sucks’. Throughout the presentation, Tomm takes the audience through different aspects of his life and how being autistic makes an impact. The group also watched a short film that Tomm put together, which looked at understanding and challenging the perceptions of autism from the general public.
We’d like to thank Sarah for joining us and sharing so many valuable insights. To find out more about our Autism Strategy, please contact Catherine Farrell by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Gwenne McFadzean by emailing email@example.com.