Towards the end of February we attended The National Autistic Society’s Professional Conference in Manchester. The event ran over two days and provided the latest information and practical tools to increase the effectiveness of services and improve outcomes for people with Autism. Some of our Home Managers were fortunate to have a pick of expert speakers to listen to, who presented an overview of the changing environment and the latest developments in the field of Autism.
One of the really interesting seminars Wendy Coleman (Home Manager, Duston Rd Home) attended, was the one by Dr Gary Mesibov where he spoke about Autism in maturity (i.e. looking at the quality of life for people with Autism over their lifespan). It gave a good perspective to hear how (as part of the bigger picture of mapping care for people with Autism) about the realities of how people are living for longer, and are “younger” for longer. At the same time, those with Autism age quicker and the challenge comes in managing their interests over time.
The complimentary topics in the seminars throughout the two days helped to address common themes in adults who have Aspergers Syndrome.
We also had the opportunity to learn more about ASDAN which would be a great addition to the activities and courses we source for our service
users in our Learning Difficulty Homes. ASDAN are a charitable social enterprise which provides programmes and qualifications to promote independence, and everyday learning living (such as meal preparation, accessing community, gardening, etc). Our service users would also be able to achieve credits and Certificates, which we know they love to work towards. Check out a short video they have put together to tell you more about ASDAN. You can also follow them on Twitter.
We attend and exhibit at this conference every year, and each year it adds more to our toolbox of understanding the changing landscape of Autism and how we can infiltrate new techniques and wonderful new ways into our path of care to assist and support our services users with Learning Difficulties, as well as their families.