In this week’s blog I would like to share examples of good practice at Ty-Nant in Wales, specifically the work they do around autism.
Ty-Nant is comprised of 7 self-contained flats, and is specifically designed to support people with autism spectrum disorders. Each person receives 1-1 support in their individual flats. Ty-Nant staff use the TEACCH approach, which is specifically created for the needs of autistic people. People with autism often find it difficult to process change and moving from one task to another. Ty-Nant staff use a range of different visual aids to organise the environment and daily tasks of each individual, making it easier for them to complete their daily routines.
Active support is practiced at all levels, as the needs of the people living at Ty-Nant are varied. B doesn’t like to be prompted to do a certain activity or a daily task, however if she is left to her own accord she will just sit in her room for hours and not progress through the day. The staff introduced two clocks to her room, one which is set correctly and another which you have to change the time manually. She has an activity/daily tasks schedule on the wall with timings. Once a task/activity is completed the staff change the time on the manual clock to the time of the next task. When the real time clock reaches the same time on the manual clock, B checks her schedule to see which task needs to be completed and completes the task independently.
When B goes shopping, she takes her visual shopping list with her. This means she can do her shopping independently, with very few prompts from staff. These visual aids are also really useful in terms of communication especially in public spaces, as B is partially deaf and it can sometimes be difficult for her to hear what staff are saying.
IP is relativity new person to Ty-Nant, when he first moved in he would throw large quantities of food away from his fridge/freezer. This lead to him being supported to do daily shops which he wasn’t keen on. The team devised with IP’s input, a visual meal planner & shopping list. These included all the meals IP would like to eat that week, and what ingredients needed. This has increased IP’s control and independence, but also gives him clear guidance on what he will be eating and when. Not only has the food wastage dramatically decreased, IP is now more socially included. He now often visits other shops and cafes whilst on his way to do his weekly shop. A simple yet important shopping list has opened up many more opportunities for him.
One very complex gentleman was supported to go on holiday to Cornwall last year. The holiday went perfectly, they visited the beach, museums and went for long walks. He even ate out restaurants with his support staff, which is completely unheard of for this individual. Sara (Home Manager) said this was due to pre planning and assessing all possible risks beforehand. She also said it’s due to her amazing staff team.
Sara Robinson, Home Manager – Ty-Nant
“I’ve been working at Ty-Nant for the last 12 years, I started as a support worker and then was promoted to lead support worker and now I have been the manager for the last 5 years. My staff team are what make Ty-Nant what it is, they are brilliant communicators and are all there for each other. Each member of staff are passionate about improving the lives of the people they support, helping them reach their potential and achieve their individual goals.”
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