Autistic Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

What is Asperger syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

Autism Training and Education Strategy for Gloucestershire

A strategy to help the local health and social care workforce meet local needs and the requirements of the national autism strategy.

Our autism training programme is open to all Health and Social Care staff in Gloucestershire including those in the Voluntary and Independent sector.

For further information on Autism Training please contact glosworkforce@nas.org.uk or phone 07890931285

More Information

For further information please visit The National Autistic SocietyOpens new window

or email trainingenquiries@gloucestershire.gov.uk

There is also a leaflet for young people with autism that contains informations and links to services that may be useful: Autism and Asperger's Information Leaflet for Young People (September 2015)Opens new window.

Information about autism: www.autism.org.uk

Network Autism- An online community for professionals supporting people with autism: network.autism.org.uk

Autism Services - A directory of services and support for people with an autism spectrum disorder, their families, and people who work with them: www.autism.org.uk/directory

The Adult Autism Strategy: 'Fulfilling and rewarding lives'

The updated autism strategy: ''Think Autism''

Information about what's happening with autism strategy implementation across the Southwest: South-West-autism-strategy

Other useful contacts

Gloucestershire Adult Social Care - advice and access to social care services and getting a social care assessment.

Telephone 01452 426868

socialcare.enq@gloucestershire.gov.uk

The National Autistic Society (Charity No.269425) - Information, support and campaigning for a better world for people with autism.

Telephone 0808 8004104

www.autism.org.uk

The National Autistic Society's Autism Services Directory - Comprehensive directory of services and support for people with autism, and those who work with them.

www.autism.org.uk/directory

Carers Gloucestershire - Information, advice and advocacy services for carers.

Telephone 01452 386283

www.carersgloucestershire.org.uk

Independence Trust - Offering local support through counselling and advice.

www.independencetrust.co.uk

You're Welcome - A community website for Gloucestershire people to learn about events and contribute. Hosted by the Barnwood Trust.

www.yourewelcome.to

Autism Network Group - For people with autism. Parents and carers give feedback to and from Gloucestershire Autism Partnership Board.

Steven_spalding@msn.com

A free multi-layered programme for staff supporting people with autism. Our autism training programme is open to all Health and Social Care staff in Gloucestershire including those in the Voluntary and Independent sector.

The content for these training sessions has recently been updated in line with the updated Autism strategy 'Think Autism'.

For further information on Autism Training please contact 07442 533688 or email glosworkforce@nas.org.uk.

Basic Awareness Induction

E-Learning package: Understanding Autism

Free to access for anyone living or working in Gloucestershire.

You will need a user name and password for the Kwango E-learning programmes
Please email trainingenquiries@gloucestershire.gov.uk for a copy of our e-learning brochure and details of the user name and password.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Awareness

This 3 hour face to face course delivered by a trainer from the National Autistic Society (NAS) provides an introduction to the autism spectrum. Recognising and understanding the key areas of difficulty experienced by individuals on the autism spectrum is vital to providing effective support.

You must complete the 'Understanding Autism' e-learning programme prior to attendance (See 'Basic Awareness Induction' for details if how to access this)

You can update Foundation level training by re-visiting the e-learning packages.

This course is certified by the CPD certification service (the leading independent CPD accreditation institution) as conforming to continuing professional development principles. All delegates will receive a certificate of attendance detailing eligible CPD hours which can be used as verifiable documentary evidence when submitting CPD recording forms.

Dates until end March 2017: 

  • 21 July 2016 - Folk Museum (Ed Shed)
  • 22 September 2016 - Brockworth Community Centre
  • 17 November 2016 - Brockworth Community Centre
  • 19 January 2017 - Brockworth Community Centre
  • 23 March 2017 - Brockworth Community Centre

Supporting Adults with Autism - Level 2

This one day training session further develops delegates understanding of autism. It focuses on providing effective support for adults with autism, using the National Autistic Society's evidence based SPELL framework. (STRUCTURE, POSITIVE, EMPATHY, LOW AROUSAL, LINKS)

It will look at:

  • Enhancing motivation, confidence and self- esteem and enabling people with autism to make a positive contribution. Promoting choice and control for the individual.
  • Understanding behaviours which can inhibit progress or impair quality of life or health
  • Understanding the importance of the environment and knowledge of ways to enhance concentration or remove distractions                                       
  • Understanding of communication strategies to support people with autism
  • Placing the individual at the centre of thinking about autism and matching support to meet the persons needs
  • An overview of key laws and policies relating to supporting an adult with autism and what they mean in practice
  • Sources of further information or advice to aid supporting an individual with autism.

You need to have attended Autistic Spectrum Disorder Awareness training prior to attendance.

Dates until end March 2017: 

  • 13 October 2016 - Folk Museum (Ed Shed)
  • 8 December 2016 - Folk Museum (Ed Shed)
  • 2 February 2017 - Folk Museum (Ed Shed)

Autistic Spectrum Disorder for Practitioners

Level Two - Autistic Spectrum Disorder for Practitioners undertaking social care assessments

This one day programme is aimed specifically at staff with responsibility for undertaking adult social care assessments including social workers, care managers and team managers from these settings.

Delegates need to have completed the 'Autism Awareness' course before undertaking this training

The session develops delegates understanding of autism and associated policy and looks at how to use the NAS's SPELL (Structure, Positive, Empathy, Low arousal, Links) framework to undertake effective social care assessments for people with autism.

By the end of this session, each participant will:

  • Be able to identify areas for improvement using the SPELL framework
  • Have a better awareness of how to structure information for people with autism
  • Be able to focus on the more positive aspects of each person
  • Have a better understanding of some of the difficulties people face
  • Have a clearer knowledge of the impact of environmental factors
  • Be aware of the benefits of collating and sharing information.

Dates until end March 2017: 

  • 6 October 2016 - Folk Museum (Ed Shed)
  • 9 February 2017- Folk Museum (Ed Shed)

GCC staff: book via the Learning Management System (LMS) by going to learningservice.org

If you do not have a username and password, click on the above link, put your normal SAP User ID in the username box (usually your initial and surname) and click on request a password. Learning Service will email you a password immediately. You can then use your username (SAP user ID) and your new password to access e-learning courses and multi-agency programmes. Don't use the 'register here' facility, as this is for external partners (or GCC employees without a SAP ID).

Non GCC staff: Booking a Course

Autism Professionals Forum

This forum is a dynamic group for professionals and practitioners in Gloucestershire, providing space to share good practice, discuss practical strategies and develop autism skills and knowledge.

It meets four times a year, with a different focus for each meeting - previous topics have included women and girls, sensory needs, and autism and anxiety.

Meetings are cofacilitated by someone with autism and enable exploration of new learning, networking with fellow professionals and discussion of challenges

Date of next forum: 20 October 10.30-12.30, Guildhall.  The theme will be Sensory Needs.

To book a place at the forum contact: lucy.skye@nas.org.uk or follow updates on Twitter: @glosautism

Related documents

The first ever strategy for adults with autism in England was published in 2010 with a commitment to review this strategy three years later.

In 2013, the Government asked for feedback from adults with autism, parents, carers and professionals about how well the 2010 strategy had been implemented so far.

The new strategy - Think Autism - was published in April 2014. This updated strategy states that all of the existing recommendations and duties from the 2010 strategy still apply to local authorities and NHS bodies.

The existing duties and recommendations from the 2010 strategy are:

  • improved training of frontline professionals in autism
  • the recommendation to develop local autism teams
  • actions for better planning and commissioning of services, including involving people with autism and their parents/carers
  • actions for improving access to diagnosis and post-diagnostic support
  • leadership structures at national, regional and local levels for delivery
  • proposals for reviewing the strategy to make sure that it is working.

Taken from: Adult autism strategy for England

More about the local implementation of the Adult Autism Strategy

Gloucestershire Adult Autism Local Strategy 2013-16

Gloucestershire's Adult Autism Strategy 2013 - 2016 was signed off by the Health and Well Being Partnership Board in July 2013.

Local strategy was built on a needs assessment completed in October 2012.The needs assessment included extensive consultation with adults with autism and their carers which itself led to the creation of an Autism Network. Groups of adults with autism and their carers/other family members (circa 70+) now meet in several locations around the county.

Strategy progress is monitored by the multi- agency Autistic Spectrum Conditions Partnership Board (ASCPB) which meets quarterly.

Local strategy reflects the updated national strategy, 'Think Autism 2014', with five priorities aimed at improving the lives of adults with autism ;

  1. increasing awareness and understanding of autism;
  2. developing clear, consistent pathways for the diagnosis of autism;
  3. improving access for adults with autism to services and support;
  4. helping adults with autism into work; and
  5. enabling local partners to develop relevant services.

Following local strategy sign off in July 2013 the ASC Partnership Board identified five priorities for action. Progress has been made;

  1. Data Improvement.
    Via an audit of GP surgeries there are now figures for number and distribution of people with autism in Gloucestershire - 1882 people with autism constituting 0.3% of the patient population.
  2. Workforce development
    £40 k identified to fund a project to improve workforce awareness of autism across key professional groupings.
  3. Employment.
    An employment passport profile has been designed as a practical tool to help adults with autism in their ability to find and stay in work. Links have been made with employers and a bid made to the Autism Innovation Fund for a project to create some apprenticeships for young adults with autism.
  4. Social Inclusion.
    A new five year county contract for community wellbeing led by the Independence Trust includes adults with autism. This has potential for addressing the social isolation of many adults with autism
  5. Transition improvements.
    All 15/16 year old young people on the autism spectrum with an SEN statement have a clear post 16 Transition plan. New information for parents and young people has been produced, covering education, health, housing and employment.

Additional priorities for local action in 2015/16 are currently being considered. They include;

  • Local Housing strategy does not specifically identify autism.
  • Links with the Criminal Justice System.
  • Improving the voice of adults with autism and generating more social activities
  • Needs in Black and minority ethnic communities

Gloucestershire 'Adult Autism and Asperger Syndrome Strategy 2013-16'

To speak to someone about the Gloucestershire Adult Autism strategy, contact: David Grocott david.grocott@nas.org.uk or phone: 0743 6264592

Related documents

The national strategy and the accompanying statutory guidelines which were set out with the aim of improving the lives of people with autism, emphasised that one of the most important steps to take when improving services for adults with autism is to increase awareness and understanding of autism across all public services through training.

In 2013 Gloucestershire published its 'Adult Autism and Asperger Syndrome Strategy 2013-16' as part of the ongoing local work to fulfil the requirements of the 2010 national Autism strategy 'Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives' which was published to support the implementation of the Autism Act 2009.

 A key aim of the local strategy is therefore also to increase awareness and understanding of autism across all public services in order to increase the ability of staff to recognise autism to meet people's needs. As part of their continued commitment to both the national and local Autism strategy, some funds were agreed to set up and deliver an 'Autism Workforce Development Strategy Project'.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has been commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to undertake a project which supports the implementation and development of the Gloucestershire Autism Workforce Development Strategy.

This delivers a staged pathway of training and development from awareness to specialist training. This approach aims to increase awareness across all relevant agencies and enable professionals to recognise autism to communicate effectively, adapting their behaviour and services appropriately.

A workforce development sub group oversees implementation and reports to the Autism Partnership Board.

To speak to someone about the Gloucestershire Autism Workforce Development Project, contact: glosworkforce@nas.org.uk or phone: 07890931285

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