Autism Anglia aspires to offer and provide personalised approaches to support our service users (pupils, boarders and residents) with autism to live as independently as possible and experience choice and inclusion in their lives and within society.

Our overall ethos and five key themes follow a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) framework, which are rooted in person centred values, aiming to increase personal skills and competence whilst placing emphasis on respect for the individual. The employment of our own Multi Disciplinary Team (Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Clinical Psychologist) and the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) team show our commitment to our five key themes.

  • Give people with autism skills and strategies
  • Implement personalised approaches
  • Ensure a shared understanding of a person's strengths, needs, and of what is important to them
  • Implement a 'power with' not a power over' approach
  • Understand that autistic people are independent, valued citizens

People on the autism spectrum experience difficulties with communication and social interaction, alongside sensory processing differences. Many also have a co-morbid learning disability and may have limited communication skills. These difficulties expressing their needs verbally can mean that the person learns other ways of getting their needs and wants met, including challenging behaviour. Such distressed or “challenging” behaviours puts the safety of our service users (pupils and residents) or others (other service users and staff) at risk or can significantly impact on their or other’s overall quality of life. 

PBS is an approach used to support behaviour change in people with a learning disability and/or autism. It understands that all behaviours have a function and are learned and are therefore open to change if they are understood. Positive behaviour support approaches have become established as the preferred approach when working with people with learning disabilities who exhibit behaviours described as challenging.

Compared to older approaches, the focus is not on “fixing” the person, or on the challenging/distressed behaviours. PBS never uses negative consequences, “sanctions” or punishment as a strategy to change distressed behaviours. Instead, it believes that if you assess and understand the function of the behaviour, then the person can be taught more appropriate ways to get their needs met through “reinforcement”. This in turn reduces the amount of “challenging” or distressed behaviours and therefore reduces the use of restrictive practices and restraint.  In accordance with guidelines we adopt a team teach approach to managing behaviours that challenge.