Since starting their NAS autism accreditation journey, the team of staff and the people we support at Woodrow Cottage have seen dramatic improvements in their daily lives. Here, we share a story of transformation about Zavier, an autistic person they support.
Back in 2016, Zavier was presenting a high level of reportable crisis incidents – approximately 15 a month – which most often required a physical intervention. Because of this, the manager, Sonia, decided to carry out observations to identify any patterns of behaviour. She noted that Zavier would regularly jump up and down whilst screaming, which would then be followed by him biting his t-shirt.
This information was shared with the Behavioural Therapist, who suggested trying a different approach. It was agreed that when Zavier was exhibiting this behaviour, staff would not intervene, but would be there to support if needed. This allowed Zavier to vent his anxieties safely in his room. Each incident would be logged on an ABC chart for monitoring and after a while, the new approach appeared to be working very well. So well that the reportable incidents dropped from 15 and above to just 1 or 2 a month.
Sonia monitors this very closely and is alerted to any changes or patterns, and keeps the Behavioural Therapist updated. This has led to the Behavioural Therapist working closely with the team to undertake a PDS diploma using Zavier as her subject. By working closely with the therapist, Woodrow Cottage have been able to support Zavier to take a more active role in his day to day life. For example, the team have implemented a visual chart that allows Zavier to take ownership of his daily activities and tasks. Every day, Zavier chooses three tasks – a daily living task, a fun activity and an outside activity. This alongside monitoring behaviour, has resulted in Zavier growing in confidence and has also given staff more opportunities to encourage Zavier to be involved in a wider range of activities.
Zavier is now accessing the community to have his hair cut, which in the past had to be done by a specific in-house mobile hair dresser. He is also now actively going out for a drive with a wider range of staff, which again, in the past had to be accomplished by a set few members of the support team. Now the majority of the team are all able to support, which in turn has enabled Zavier to build stronger relationships.
A recent new activity Zavier enjoyed was watching the football world cup. He watched each of the England matches, with 1-1 support, which he thoroughly enjoyed. The staff are now thinking about building on this to support Zavier to access the community to see a live football match. They are confident they’ll be able to support him to do this, with the right planning and support.
Sonia is extremely proud of the progress Zavier and the team have made in the past year. She says, “Since starting our journey with the autism accreditation, staff have grown in confidence, skill and have gained a better understanding. We are able to put what we’ve have learnt into practice, to help the individuals we support to progress.”
Some information has been changed for confidentiality purposes.