Working Together is Success

Posted by Roseann Connolly on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

People, ideas and opportunities are  coming together.  Yesterday Bulwinder told me how she helps her adult daughter stay calm on visits to the doctor.  The adult daughter has severe learning disabilities, is on the autism spectrum and can find visits to unfamiliar places difficult.  Bulwinder has learnt how to work with her daughter over an entire life-time. She 'lisens' to he adult daughter's non-verbal cues.  Over the years they have developed a routine around visits to unfamiliar places.  The adult daughter understands that when the visit is over she will have a reward - a small can of coke or crisps.  
Recently a visit to the doctor went less than well when a well meaning support working accompanying Bulwinder's daughter got the pattern out of synch! She gave the woman the crisps as they entered the waiting room.  As a result there was no reason for the woman to stay she wanted to go and got upset and physical pulled down leaflets when she was not allowed to leave.  

The woman's understanding - (the adult daughter) though limited was not at fault in this situation but the understanding of the support worker was.  She had previously seen Bulwinder give crisps to the woman at visits to the doctor but had not understood that it was as a reward.  It was a mutually understood incentive that had grown up over the years between mother and daughter - once it was understood it offered the staff member a whole new appreciation of the daughter's ability to reason and understand.  Hopefully it will fuel more respect for the young woman's capacity to understand and make choices.

It is vital that those delivering services know how to 'listen to' service users - even those who are non-verbal and work in partnership with them and their carers and families.  

Autism Hounslow has been looking for an empowering model of how to work with our Young Adults Social Group (they have yet to decide on their name) and we are looking at work done by Helen Sanderson and Person Centred practice. Visit  to learn more.

Tags: "non verbal"  "learning disabilities"  dignity  autism  asc  asd  hounlslow  "person centred" 

About Me

Roseann Connolly I am optimistic that autistic people of all ages, and their carers living in Hounslow will be able to get the services they need to develop and lead satisfying and rewarding lives free from stigma. I don't know how long this will take. We will work with health and social care professionals to develop our mutual understanding and knowledge of what needs to be done. We will not wait passively for services to be delivered to us but will take an active part in the development and where appropriate delivery of those services.

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