Our Methods & Expertise: Positive Behaviour Support & Beyond
Behind every challenging behaviour lies a human need. Positive Behaviour Support provides a framework by which that need can be identified and the individual equipped to meet it in healthier ways. Underpinning PBS are two beliefs. The first is that a challenging behaviour cannot be phased out unless a positive alternative is offered. The second is that an autistic or learning-disabled person deserves to be approached as a unique individual with the same right to dignity and respect as any other, and to be empowered as a partner in their own development.
PBS is a specific service offered by Solutions Social Care. But it also informs everything we do, from matching workers and those we support on the basis of shared interests, hobbies and enthusiasms to determining goals and outcomes and monitoring progress. Every person supported by SSC receives a full PBS plan as well as a shorter, single-page profile detailing likes and dislikes, support required, and stage of development.
How do we deliver PBS at Solutions Social Care?
- Our PBS Team is led by a PBS Consultant, fully trained and accredited by BILD, who oversees all PBS activity at Solutions Social Care
- All SSC team-members (including drivers and office staff) participate in two one-hour workshops where they receive instruction about the principles of PBS and the practical elements of PBS plans, including data-collection skills and the principles involved in teaching new behaviours and skills
- Meticulous records are maintained on everyone for whom we provide support, ensuring that progress can be fully monitored, goals updated according to individual’s development, and data reliably reported to other parties effectively when needed
- We work closely with the NHS Psychology Team regarding our approach and undertake risk-assessments in collaboration with them
- Training from the National Autistic Society equips our staff to deal with any and all issues that may arise with transition and/or understanding
Restraint Reduction is based on the principle that restrictive practices present the risk of trauma for autistic or learning-disabled individuals; therefore, while sometimes necessary for safety, such practices should be employed only when all other options have been exhausted and there is an immediate danger to the individual or others around them.
Everything we do at Solutions Social Care is founded on our belief that autistic and learning-disabled individuals are citizens with all the rights and privileges afforded to any other. These include the right not to be physically coerced or restrained unless it is absolutely necessary for reasons of safety, and as a result Restraint Reduction is a cornerstone of our practice. You can rest assured that any individual in our care will only ever be physically restrained as a last resort and only as a means of securing their safety.
We are members of the Restraint Reduction Network, and all our staff are given extensive and on-going training in the relevant principles and practices.
Intensive Interaction is an approach developed to allow ‘hard to reach’ individuals – people who are non-verbal with under-developed communicative capacities, for instance, or who are socially withdrawn to an extreme degree as a result of autism or a learning disability – to attain ‘fundamentals of communication’: the ability to enjoy the company of others, to interpret and employ facial expressions, to control levels of arousal, to take turns in behaviour exchanges, and many more.
While many approaches with similar aims seek to make autistic or learning-disabled individuals conform to standard behaviours, Intensive Interaction takes its lead from the individual themselves. The practitioner ‘tunes in’ to the person’s world, engaging with them using their natural cues and communication preferences. The approach is entirely in line with our person-centred ethos at Solutions Social Care, and we have seen tremendous results using it.
Social Stories were developed in the early 1990s by teacher Carol Gray as a method for teaching autistic and learning-disabled individuals about social behaviours expected of them in real-world situations such as the supermarket, schoolroom, workplace or playground. They are a highly adaptable way of preparing people for social scenarios that otherwise might be overwhelming or incomprehensible to them.
At Solutions Social Care we have found Social Stories to be highly effective in helping people with autism or learning disabilities to feel comfortable and competent around others and out in the world, for instance by preparing them for what is likely to occur in a given situation and by helping them to be alert to cues that they might not notice or understand otherwise. Our staff are given comprehensive and on-going training in the use of the Social Stories system.
Makaton is a language programme that combines speech with signs and symbols to aid those who find conventional communication difficult, especially individuals with autism, Down’s Syndrome, acquired neurological disorders or learning disabilities. The three elements are combined in different ways according to need and ability, and over time individuals acquire a vocabulary that enables them to communicate about basic needs such as eating or drinking as well as more abstract subjects like emotions.
Makaton is a communication and learning approach that Solutions Social Care uses with a large number of people we support and that has yielded excellent results. All staff are trained in the programme so that it is an option available to everyone with whom we work.