The North East Autism Society provides a wide – and ever growing – range of services for children, young people and adults who are on the autism spectrum.
Our mission statement says:
We work in partnership to achieve outstanding personalised services for people on the autism spectrum.
- We will engage with others to shape the services we provide.
- We will work in a flexible person centred way.
- We will embed equality and diversity.
- We will strive to be a learning organisation.
- We will use resources effectively and efficiently.
In practice, we believe that ‘excellence’ for an autism specific service stems from a total commitment to the individual. Every one of us is unique, with differing needs, wants and challenges - and autism affects each person uniquely.
We are committed to understanding the interests, aspirations and dreams of each person referred to our service. We also bring all of our knowledge to bear in striving to learn what autism means for that person. It is only through putting the individual at the centre of our planning that we can customise our work to reflect their tastes and ambitions. Our role is to provide the support which will enable each person to achieve success at a level that is appropriate.
At the North East Autism Society, our work begins with an in depth assessment of need for each child, young person or adult who is referred to our services. As we come to know that individual, and to understand how and why they may react to different situations, we can begin working together with that person, with their family and key supporters, to develop a Person Centred Plan.
This plan will set out the individual’s needs and wishes both now and for the future. It will also clarify the specific support needed for that person to achieve their specific objectives. No two plans are the same and there is no attempt to make the person ‘fit’ the service. Our job is to ensure that we provide just the right support to enable each child or adult to grow and develop according to their aspirations.
The Person Centred Plan is not fixed. We expect our team to listen and to learn, supporting the individual to contribute to the planning process in the way which best suits his or her needs. It is a priority for our staff to ensure that each step forward is recognised and recorded, each new challenge identified and addressed, and that the plan grows with the individual.
Research and the experience of people with autism as service users demonstrates their particular vulnerability to over direction, resulting in dependence on support. Too often, such dependence can be perceived as ‘need’ rather than as a consequence of inappropriate staff approaches.
We encourage and support staff at every level within the organisation to look beyond what they see and hear, avoiding ‘neuro typical’ interpretations and recognising the underlying or intended meaning of behaviour or communications.
Along with other organisations which are part of Autism Alliance UK we are committed to developing a culture which recognises the multi facted, unique nature of an individual’s autism and the flexible, adaptive approaches necessary to help each person realise their potential.
We strive to ensure that this ‘child centred ‘or ‘person centred approach’ is used in every aspect of our work. And, of course, the measure of our success is in the outcomes we achieve for individuals.