Autism Spectrum Partners have presented their work at the Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities Annual Conference, in Belfast on 13th-15th April 2016.

Dr Sally Morgan (Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Team Lead) and Rebecca Efford (former Assistant Psychologist) presented a talk called 'Riding the roller-coaster - working with people with Intellectual Disabilities and Mood Disorders' which talked about ASP’s expertise in supporting people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and complex mood disorders. The talk was well attended and there was professional recognition of the Positive Behaviour Support approach.

Assistant Psychologist Sophie Robbins, Autism Researcher Debbie Coton (both pictured) and former Assistant Psychologist, Asuka Boyle presented a poster about the pilot of a new assessment tool to inform future services. Service environments within ASP required adaptation and the division wanted future service provision to be guided by Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) principles. PBS highlights the importance of adapting environments to improve quality of life for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and Learning Disability.

A comprehensive needs assessment was required to inform service development and no such tool was found readily available. ASP therefore designed and piloted the Person Centred Needs Assessment Tool in its adult residential services. The tool provides a holistic assessment of needs including: skills, health, personal care needs, family values, social needs, accommodation needs and behaviour that challenges. Assessments were completed by key staff members who knew the service user well.

An initial analysis of the assessment has begun. This has highlighted a number of themes including sensory and communication needs, quiet environments and proximity to countryside. Outcomes from the assessment will inform future service development. The next steps are to involve families and services users using adapted versions of the tool.

If you’d like to learn more about this work please contact Dr Sally Morgan, Debbie Coton or Sophie Robbins.