Autistic Spectrum Disorder Services
Hexagon Care provide care and support in specialist homes for 8-18 year olds diagnosed with and in the assessment phase of autism. We understand that autistic young people can see the world in a wonderful way but that it can also be a very scary place at times. Our main aim is to make the child feel safe, secure, not-judged, accepted and understood. With our unique approach, knowledge and skills we are able to transform the lives of young people, encouraging positive relationships with a high emphasis on life enriching opportunities and activities, and developing strategies to help them to navigate their way through various situations. The structure of our homes enables young people to develop the skills required to live within a group of peers and offers a high level of consistency to support the needs of autistic young people and the associated difficulties they may face.
Instead of viewing autism as a disability, or an individual disadvantage or limitation, we look at how society creates barriers and look to make adjustments so that autistic young people have an equal chance of leading happy and fulfilled lives. We aim to understand the individual needs of each young person and don’t make assumptions based on ‘social norms’.
Autistic young people have a cognitive difference in how they process information they are receiving from the world, meaning they will interact differently to the environment they are in. Therefore, we carefully consider the young person’s background, history, upbringing, significant events, medical history and placement moves to fully understand how they can interact in different environments. We understand that autistic people don’t want to be treated differently, they just want the same opportunities and chances every other young person is given, presented in a way they understand.
Things can go wrong for an autistic person when their needs aren’t fully understood, and when we try to change the person they are to fit into society’s unwritten rules and systems. We believe that autistic young people don’t need to be ‘fixed’, focusing more on listening to the fundamental needs an individual has and how to express those needs in a more socially appropriate way, whilst allowing the young person to make choices which are comfortable to them. When these below-the-surface needs are consistently met, young people gain momentum in other areas of their lives because the barriers are beginning to be removed from what once held them back.
“Autism isn’t something a person has, or a shell that a person is trapped inside. There’s no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colours every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person - and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with.” Sinclair, J (1993) ‘Don’t Mourn for Us’ Our Voice 1 (3)
Our ASD homes have been modified to meet individual needs and to be able to achieve the best outcomes for young people. The homes have been modified in partnership with a number of consultants in Autism to help with the planning process, including looking at lighting, acoustics of the building, layout, fittings, fixtures, colours, resources and sensory needs. Some examples of the modifications made are the adjustable lighting in the homes, which enables young people to have a choice around the level of lighting that meets their sensory need and secondly all baths are hydro powered to support and give choice to the young people to regulate sensory stimulation.
Young people in our ASD homes attend the onsite school provisions, which deliver a bespoke and personalised curriculum to meet the needs of the individual, based upon their academic ability and their interests. The staff within the homes understand the importance of each child’s education programme and support them to develop transferable skills that can be used in many areas of their day to day lives. Our qualified teachers and teaching assistants have the skills and expertise to deliver learning to young people with Autism and they work closely with home staff to ensure that the needs of the pupils are met and that positive outcomes are achieved.
Our ASD homes benefit from the support of our Specialist Therapeutic Service. Each home has a dedicated Senior Psychologist embedded within the home. This allows them to work systemically with the care and education staff, as one team. This enhances the knowledge of the factors that underpin the behaviours, and offers psychologically informed practise to support each child.