The Disabilities Trust's autism services were inspired by the potential of people with autism who use our services. We offer a range of individually tailored support services, aimed at helping people live their lives as independently as possible. Service users are encouraged to develop their social, vocational and recreational skills and ensure that they are fully involved in all decisions affecting their lives, allowing them to achieve their aspirations.

Our detailed assessment procedure determines the level of support needed by each individual. We are committed to finding new ways of understanding the views of those who have communication difficulties and tailor our communication methods to best meet the needs of that person.

Our person-centred approach places service users at the heart of everything we do. We recognise that autism is a complex condition which may include behaviours that challenge, for example, a manifestation of someone trying to communicate frustration, anxiety or pain. Our highly experienced therapeutic team is trained to manage behavious that challenge, by using the positive behaviour support model.

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Education

young autistic boy in lessons with support worker in Heathermount

We believe that education plays a vital role in improving the long-term opportunities of people with autism. Our educational and residential services help ease the transition into adulthood by providing education, life and vocational skills that complement service users' abilities while enabling them to live independently.

Our first learning centre for children and young people with autism, Heathermount, offers learning opportunities to over 60 children and young adults with autism aged from 4 to 19 years. Building on Heathermount's success, the Trust is looking to increase its range of educational services - working closely with statutory authorities to meet growing demand.

Transition

We recognise that the transition from childhood to adulthood is particularly difficult for those with autism who face changes in their living arrangements.

We proactively address these issue by working with existing and potential service users, their families and local authorities to develop packages around individual needs in the most suitable environment; whether that be in the family home, community setting or specialist residential settings.

autistic male service user with support working on hand to eye coordination

Housing and support

We offer a range of support options for people with autism, tailored to meet their individual needs including residential centres, Hollyrood in Sussex and The Maples in Reading, and community based services in Milton Keynes, Wirral (Merseyside),Bedfordshire, Reading and in Sussex.