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Trafford Life Coaching Project for People with Autism Spectrum Conditions.

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Presentation on theme: "Trafford Life Coaching Project for People with Autism Spectrum Conditions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trafford Life Coaching Project for People with Autism Spectrum Conditions

2 Why Life Coaching? what do we know about the difficulties faced by people with autism? Eligibility criteria for services – “the gap” Social, psychological and economic costs of ignoring the needs of people with autism (National Audit office report 2009) Autism – a hidden disability core difficulties often not understood. (Autism Strategy 2010) People with autism are more likely to experience additional mental and physical health problems (You Need To Know- NAS 2010) People with autism don’t always need or want specialist services BUT they often find it difficult to access mainstream services (Autism Strategy 2010) I Exist Survey % of adults with autism do not have the support to meet their needs 60% of parents say that a lack of support has led to higher support needs in the long run 33% of adults with autism have experienced severe mental health problems because of a lack of support 15% of adults with autism have a full-time, paid job.

3 A Funding Opportunity Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust – Dragons Den Innovation Fund – awarded £12,000 + £8,000 (additional funding from other GMW budget) Work with Trafford Centre for Independent Living to employ 2/3 life coaches Day to day management through Trafford CIL, support and supervision through GMW and CWP Work with people who have received an autism diagnosis through Trafford’s adult diagnostic pathway

4 What is Life Coaching? The Trafford Life Coaching Project offers one to one support to individuals with an Autism Spectrum Condition living in Trafford. Life Coaches will work with people to identify individual goals and to support and empower them to move towards achieving their goals: Examples might include: Support to understand and cope better with relationships Support to manage and organise your time better Help to identify goals in training or education

5 Aims of the Trafford Life Coaching Project Achievement of personal goals A greater sense of well being and achievement Maintaining positive mental health Reduction in crisis situations Positive benefits for carers Greater capacity with Trafford’s diagnostic service to move people on after diagnosis Increased ASC awareness and capacity within mainstream services Better partnership working in Trafford

6 Trafford Life Coaching Project for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions Worked with 10 people following diagnosis through Trafford pathway Initial getting to know you followed by 8 focused sessions Work reviewed using spectrum star (further sessions negotiated) Life Coaching work evaluated using: –Carer questionnaire –Spectrum Star –Case study material People accessing Life Coaching were also offered post diagnosis group (10 sessions) Family members affected by the diagnosis were also offered their own post diagnosis group (2 sessions)

7 Andrew’s story Andrew received a diagnosis of autism in his mid 30s. He works full time and has always lived with his parents who offer lots of day to day help. Andrew’s family are concerned about his vulnerability and his ability to look after himself without someone there to prompt and support. Andrew had a community care assessment and was told that because he was supported by his parents and did not have a learning disability, he was not FACS eligible. Andrew is trying to come to terms with his late diagnosis. It has explained many of the difficulties he has experienced throughout his life. He is socially isolated and desperately wants to develop relationships and interests. In the longer term he would like to move out of the family home and develop more independence, however, he knows he needs help to do this and is unsure where to begin. Andrew wanted someone outside his family with whom he could talk about his goals and aspirations. He also wanted a sounding board, someone to discuss the day to day difficulties he was having in work and also someone to help him think about the future. Andrew needed someone to advocate for him and to help him find his way around the different services that could help him. Life coaching work initially focused on work with Andrew’s employer. Andrew was struggling with his relationships in work. He felt that his colleagues misunderstood him and perhaps thought he was rude or anti social. Andrew his life coach and a worker from ASGMA prepared a presentation on autism to be shared with his colleagues. This explained things from Andrew’s point of view and also looked at “reasonable adjustments” that could help him in the work setting. Andrew’s colleagues were positive about this and some real steps have been taken towards supporting Andrew to feel happier in work. The life coach has also supported Andrew to think about what he wants for the future. She has introduced Andrew to a housing broker to discuss housing options. She has also arranged for another community care assessment with a view to finding him more independent accommodation. Working with the life coach has given Andrew the confidence to start to think about what he really wants and to take some steps towards making this happen.

8 Luke’s story Luke was diagnosed in his early 20s. He lives in a shared house with other young people. Luke has had problems in his accommodation, he has experienced bullying by housemates, and has found the stress of having to share his home very difficult. He has attempted to complain about this but the housing provider did not understand about autism and blamed Luke for the problems. Luke has had difficulties coming to terms with his identity following his diagnosis. He has a difficult relationship with his family, as some of them have refused to accept that he has autism. Luke has also had some bad experiences with his other relationships, and has felt rejected. This has led to feelings of depression and low self worth. Luke has attempted suicide on more than one occasion. Luke is struggling to cope with living independently he struggles to keep on top of day to day tasks. He has specific difficulties with numeracy and finds it difficult to manage his finances without support. He finds it difficult to engage with services and will often miss appointments. However, he referred himself to the Life Coaching Project and has consistently accepted the support offered. Life coaching working with Luke has focused on supporting him to understand his relationships, supporting him to develop systems for budgeting, understanding money, supporting him to tackle problems in his accommodation with landlord and co tenants. The life coach referred Luke to a counselling service and supported the counsellor to understand more about autism. She also referred Luke for a community care assessment, however, he was assessed as non FACS eligible. Like many people with autism Luke has poor insight into his own difficulties. He found it difficult to engage with the social care assessment process and to give a true picture of his day to day problems. Much of the work has focused on liaising with other services and advocating for Luke with the housing provider, the local authority the police and mental health and crisis teams. Some of this work has been very positive particularly with the police. Their awareness of autism has increased and Luke has had a positive experience of engaging with a service that he was previously afraid of.

9 Family experience “The support offered to Josh through this scheme has been/is amazing. It has provided so much that we, as parents, never could. It has brought a sense of relief to me that he has been offered such appropriate, relevant and valuable advice and support from a third party. The family spends so much time living right on top of the problem and it is nothing short of a relief to share the issues and some of the answers with a trained professional who can offer dedicated time for a few hours a week” “Attempts by us, his parents to motivate him have invariably resulted in failure, whereas he has now, hopefully formed a relationship with his Life Coach in which he IS becoming motivated by her, at least, he appears to complete tasks she has set him, as he does WANT and APPRECIATE, the help he is now being offered.”

10 George’s Story

11 What makes life coaching different? The coaches have an understanding of Autism The coaches don’t make assumptions about the persons needs or skills We had a more open referral criteria The support is person centred and flexible We allow more time per session The client has a consistent staff member to work with The staff have positive attitudes to Aspergers syndrome as a ‘hidden disability’

12 Lessons learned A small amount of support can make a huge difference to individuals and families A small amount of support can prevent crises and save money Support needs to be non stigmatising and person centred. Support needs to be offered in flexible ways at times to suit the individual Knowledge of autism is essential Partnership working is key Life Coaching supports agencies as well as individuals Life Coaching helps families to feel supported too

13 Life coaching Trafford - The future Funding ends August 2014 – exploring funding options Pilot demonstrates success Work being replicated in Salford Want to extend the work to people with an existing diagnosis Could be a useful model for carers and people with other difficulties Exploring ways of people being able to pay for life coaching with a personal budget but also to continue to offer low level support to non FACS eligible people


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