We adapted our generic Floating Support service to enable clients on the Autistic Spectrum, who tend to have additional medical conditions, such as Mental Health problems, to access it, as well as other services in the community.
Clients, agencies and staff have all benefitted by working together. Clients have found ways of coping with day to day living, and staff members have gained more knowledge about Autism combined with Mental Health problems and how this affects the lives of those suffering with the condition. Through partnership working, and the promotion of services, awareness has been increased.
How it worked
Floating Support has worked with several clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) conditions, where it affects their social and communication abilities. Their workers have given them coping mechanisms to help them get through day to day life.
This has included:
- Structured appointments at the same time and day each week, and being on time, reliable and unchanging appointments, with communication via text and email rather than letters.
- Using online facilities for purchases/reporting issues, as going shopping can create anxiety.
- Attending new appointments or being available to be with the client during deliveries/repair visits to their property.
- Encouraging them to attend an ASD group, by helping them to determined safe routes via bus, and finding quiet times to travel.
- Being very aware of words used – as people with ASD conditions take things literally, pictorial support plans were produced.
- Helping them to produce weekly plans which start from the time they wake up (including things such as ‘have breakfast’) to the time they go to bed.
How it makes a difference
Our support has given these clients the opportunity to implement support mechanisms to live independently and sustain their tenancies.
A drop-in is held at the local ASD centre, where advice is provided to individuals on how we can support them to live independently. This is covered by our ASD champion, who distributes information to the Floating Support team.