Day to Day

Research over time has made numerous suggestions that emotions are connected to our thinking and cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and reasoning. People with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum conditions are often described as having difficulties in what we call ‘cognitive function’, that is, the intellectual process by which we think, reason, understand ideas and remember things. Therefore, people who are having difficulties with cognitive function will therefore be likely to have an impact on a person’s emotional well-being.

It is a fact that emotions are known as being a prime motivator that underpin any given task…if we undertake the task it makes us feel good and we are likely to do it again and again…it motivates us, it makes us feel good and provides us with a high level of satisfaction and esteem.

The implications of decreased emotional well-being leads to a lack of motivation or willingness to undertake any task…‘what is the point’.

Each of the areas as described are inter related and are known to jointly contribute towards mental health illnesses concerns such as stress, depression, and anxiety or equally can contribute towards physical ill-health such as digestive disorders, sleep disturbances, and general lack of energy.

So for a person with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum conditions it is likely to look like this:

Day to Day Diagram

For all of us, the ability to organise, sequence and prioritise helps us to plan daily activities and manage our time effectively. There are not many of us who would continue to thrive without the use of diaries and calendars. However as described above many people with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum conditions may find organising, sequencing and prioritising difficult due to their cognitive functioning ability.

At ASC Healthcare in adoption of the above theory, we view it as vital day to day need to provide each individual with the means and resources to be able to understand the planning of the structure and content of their day, for some this may be on an hour by hour basis and for others may span across their waking hours. Therefore, we believe autism therapy methods should be developed by considering such emotional challenges that can assist a patient in dealing with them.

Working within The My Shared Pathway, we recognise that by achievement and implementation of compensatory supports, we canactively support cognitive functioning. Advanced support methods create a positive impact and likely be seen as enhanced emotional well-being which will contribute to upward spirals in increasing coping ability, self-esteem, performance, productivity and motivation and in the process reduce the likelihood of mental or physical illness. Not only that, it can reduce the need for a lengthy stay period in hospital for mental illness treatment. Such therapy for autism can improve the overall nature of cognition for the ASC patients.

The Breightmet Centre in this unique approach to people with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum conditions provides a framework of varied and individual experiences and opportunities within an overall therapy timetable, this will be the emphasis of day to day living in order to actively promote long term wellness.

Our creative therapy treatment for autism program and daily support activities includes specific aims and objectives and is implemented accurately and consistently in order to maintain and develop the potential of each individual. These therapy programmes reinforce and recognise each individual’s talents and strengths rather than their so called weakness / deficit areas. Over time, we expect that a high proportion of people will become familiar with and be able to use the strategies independently.

It is important to remember that although different therapy approaches have been known to work for some people with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum conditions, all may have not been evaluated on a long-term basis. Therefore, the autism therapy methods may generate varying levels of success with different patients.

Resources required for such autism therapy programmes will be identified at point of admission to the service and be subject to frequent monitor and review in the best interests of the individual concerned.

While activities are provided off site in direct community settings and make use of local facilities and resources, The Breightmet Centre has its own distinct Autism Therapy and Activity Suite providing access to a range of activity areas including sensory room, multi-faith room, ADL kitchen and additional Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy Rooms.

This area is designated specifically to those people who due to the complexity of their illness may not be ready or immediately able to access community based facilities or require specific and more intensive support, development and training to enable them to do so.

In these circumstances it is important that the use of in-house activities are recognised as being able to equally enhance motivation and esteem by the successes of individuals being able to successfully undertake levels of activity within controlled and supportive environments with a degree of freedom and safety.