We appreciate that autism can affect people in a range of different ways. And although we understand the need for consistent and personalised support routines, we always focus on the ability of each person too. We’re proud to help people lead more fulfilling lives, often achieving the most amazing things.
Autism is just one part of a person and it doesn’t define who they are. By viewing autism as a different ability rather than a disability, we're able to provide the right support to enhance people's lives.
What is autism?
Autism is a spectrum condition which affects each person in different ways and can make everyday life much more challenging. Struggling with attention, organisation, time management and emotional control are some common factors that people living with autism and those around them can find difficult.
To find out more about Autism and supported living, please read our guide to supported living for adults with Autism.
We see needs, gifts and talents first, not negative labels - that’s what makes us different.”
Support Worker at Lifeways
How Lifeways can help people with Autism?
At Lifeways, we're here to offer practical and emotional autism support services to create positive outcomes, whatever the situation. Whether it's offering guidance to help support the transition into adulthood, making the first move out of the family home or seeking a step to further independence, we support every ambition and are here for every step of the journey.
Our teams have the knowledge and experience to understand the functions behind behavioural communication, and we aim to help people with autism develop independent life skills, improve communication and resolve environmental issues. Where individuals may have been previously described as exhibiting “challenging behaviours” in certain situations, we believe in taking a proactive approach and turning the focus onto understanding what the individual is trying to communicate.
With our wealth of experience in supporting people living with autism, we know that factors such as noise, lighting and change can increase anxiety. We also know that patience, being generous with praise and keeping the language clear and concise can have positive effects. We incorporate the TEACCH approach in our support, which relates to structuring and organising schedules to encourage focus and routine, and also use the SPELL framework which emphasises the importance of creating calm and ordered environments, often described as low arousal.
How do we care for people with Autism?
We take lots of time to get to know each person and understand what does and doesn't contribute to positive outcomes. We also spend time with family members and care professionals close to the individual, to gain an understanding of the challenges the person may have already overcome and their hopes for the short and long term.
Once we've done this, all of that information is put together to create a bespoke support plan. Each person will have a unique set of development objectives relating to their autism, which we focus on when providing support. Our aim is for people to self-direct their support as much as possible, helping them to exercise choice in all aspects of their daily lives. We also encourage each person to be part of their local community in whatever way suits them, whether that's getting out and about to do shopping, meeting new friends or taking up a volunteering opportunity.
Working alongside each person's family and circle of support we continually review progress and celebrate achievements to ensure we’re recognising steps forward, adapting to changes and planning for the different stages of their life.
"Finding the right support has changed Craig’s life. He’s learnt skills in organisation and planning, opening up opportunities to enjoy new hobbies and join in with local community activities."
Support worker at Lifeways
Supported living for people with Autism
We offer a range of different support for people living with autism that's designed to meet individual needs. This might help with maintaining independence or providing encouragement to achieve a particular goal. The level of support we provide is completely flexible - whether it's just a few hours a week or 24-7, we adapt our plan for each person.
One of our options of support is supported living for adults with autism, where our team supports people with autism to live safely and comfortably in their own homes. In this setting, we work closely with housing associations, private landlords and local agencies to offer community-based support which could include a flat scheme or shared property.
Residential care for people with Autism
We understand that there are some people with autism who benefit from residential care, and our residential homes allow people to live together and receive 24-7 support from our highly trained and dedicated teams. Many of our homes have been adapted to provide specialist equipment to support those living with autism, including sensory rooms.
All of our homes are located in the heart of local communities with excellent transport links, and so provide the perfect setting to enjoy exploring new places, meeting up with family and friends and getting involved in new hobbies and interests. We have a range of different residential care facilities all over the UK, use our location finder to find autism support near you.
If you are not sure if supported living or residential care is the best option for your loved one, then read our blog on the differences between supported living and residential care.