Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.
People with autism have particular difficulties with:
Social communication – using and understanding verbal and non-verbal language
Social interaction – recognising and understanding other people’s feelings and managing their own
Social imagination – understanding and predicting other people’s intentions and behaviour, adapting to new or unfamiliar situations, and imagining situations outside their own routine.
People with autism experience stress much more often and more intensely than others. This can add to the difficulties they already have due to their autism.
Autism is called a spectrum condition. All people with autism share certain difficulties, but their autism will affect them in different ways.
Affinity Trust has many years’ experience of supporting people from across the autistic spectrum to live independently. We currently support around 180 people with autism.
We use recognised tools and approaches to ensure that people with autism receive consistent, high-quality and individual support.
Our approach to supporting people with autism
We use the SPELL framework as the basis for how we support people with autism.
SPELL stands for:
Structure—providing consistency and routines, so that people know what is going to happen
Positive—encouraging people to develop skills and achieve goals
Empathy—trying to see the world through the eyes of people we support, understanding what motivates, interests and upsets them
Low arousal—using approaches and creating environments that reduce anxiety and help concentration
Links—working with families, health professionals and others to ensure consistent support.