Situated at Tokers Green, Reading, The Maples is a centre for the support and development of people with autism. We provide accommodation and support for adults, aged 18+, who are on the autism spectrum or show behaviours that indicate autism. We also support people with epilepsy, and individuals with complex needs who might challenge alternative services. Staff are trained to help service users achieve their aspirations and enjoy a high quality of life, and we respect each person's right to individual choice, dignity, independence and fulfilment. The Maples is a service within The Disabilities Trust's Autism services.

Philosophy

Our person centred approach places service users at the heart of everything that we do. We recognise that people with autistic spectrum conditions often behave in ways which challenge traditional service provision. This is often a way of someone communicating frustration, anxiety, pain or needs. Our highly experienced therapeutic team is trained to manage challenging behaviour by using a variety of interventions including de-escalation and intervention techniques thus enabling service users to communicate their needs and feelings in a non-threatening environment. We always seek to find new ways of understanding the views of those who have communication difficulties and will tailor individualised communication methods to best meet the needs of that person.

Facilities and environment

Set in six acres of attractive grounds, The Maples provides supported living accommodation and independent studio apartments to sixteen adults with autism and Asperger syndrome.

autistic service user interacting with the sensory room at The maples

Studio apartments

"The Foxes" and "Badgers" are the latest addition to The Maples. These are eight purpose-built, new studio apartments that promote independent living skills. All have:

  • an en-suite bathroom
  • an attractive open-plan layout
  • modern appliances, such as cookers with special induction hobs

The property has a large garden which provides ample seating areas, a trampoline, an arbour and a sensory woodlands. Service users can also enjoy participating in ball games, barbecues and open days. Other communal spaces include well-equipped kitchens, a variety of lounges and dining rooms, an IT room with specially adapted equipment, and a launderette for residents' use. The service has plenty of space for privacy.

Residential accommodation

The 'Red Kites' is an eight-bedroom home for people who require additional support. It has:

Our person centred approach places service users at the heart of everything that we do."

  • launderette
  • dining room
  • activities area
  • meals that are provided
  • a large communal living room
  • individual bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms
  • a nearby spacious sensory room with a colour projector.

The home is within easy reach of the M4. The local town of Reading provides frequent rail links to London and the rest of the UK and there is a local bus service a short walk away from the centre. The Maples has its own transport facilities, which are available for the use of residents. We also have four community-based houses within the local areas: two in nearby Sonning Common, one in Caversham and one in Maidenhead, each housing up to three adults on the autistic spectrum.

Activities and education

Staff are trained to help residents achieve their aspirations and enjoy a high quality of life according to their person centred plans, and residents are encouraged to take part in the organisation of events and activities. We offer a wide range of optional activities and events, making full use of in-house facilities and the surrounding amenities and the nearby town of Reading, which offers excellent facilities for leisure, recreation and social activities.

The Maples runs a learning centre onsite and hosts other activities in nearby Mapledurham, offering structured daily living programmes on the basis of TEACCH. Off site, activities include swimming, bowling, golf, personal shopping trips and attending local educational and vocational colleges. The staff team receive a range of autism specific training, and our buildings and environments are developed to reflect the specific needs of the residents. The Maples has its own psychology and speech and language department, also available to the four houses in the community, which offers advice and support in intervention strategies.

At Autism Spectrum Partners, our strategy of 'Life Long Learning' encourages service users to access educational training courses and vocational training so that they have an opportunity to secure paid employment if they choose and to live life more independently. A Specialist Placement Manager advises and trains staff to create bespoke packages for individuals.

These include course that are accredited by educational institutions or are recognised qualifications such as QCF and GCSE equivalent. There are also opportunities to take up apprenticeships with local businesses. The curriculum includes functional skills, employability and life skills with a focus on teamwork, assisting with social inclusion and community integration.

Governance

As well as being fully compliant with Care Quality Commission standards, our corporate Quality Assurance Department oversees a regular external inspection and ad-hoc visits set against the CQC's own quality outcomes. This ensures that standards are maintained and built upon regularly. The inspections and audits include seeking feedback from all stakeholders, including service users, families, and local authorities. Our quality report outcomes are also published annually.

The Maples leaflet thumbnail image

Download The Maples leaflet

Here is a link to our Easy Read service brochure for The Maples.