Jason's story

Advance Houing and Support. Complex Needs customer, JJason moved to an Advance scheme for people with complex needs in 2017 after leaving hospital. Diagnosed with autism, learning disability and general complex needs, Jason can say a few words. He can become frustrated and aggressive if people do not understand him.

Advance staff started supported Jason from hospital where he was admitted due to a heart infection and psychogenic vomiting. This meant Jason was unable to keep food down weighed under 35kg.

Our Advance Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) team carried out a functional assessment and devised a Positive Behaviour Plan (PBP), with proactive and reactive strategies, to help staff understand Jason's needs and how to support him. This included teaching him new skills to promote independence and introducing Picture Exchange Communications System (PEC) to facilitate communication, which he now uses to communicate the activities he wants to do each morning.

Michelle O’Neil, PBS Lead said: “Using the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis we started a `manding programme’ (teaching sign language that is specific to the individual and their environment) with Jason. We started teaching him five signs so he could ask for what he wanted when he wanted. Teaching manding can reduce many problem behaviours. It has worked well with Jason and has increased his confidence. For example; he can sign when he wants to engage in a specific activity. He is mostly non-verbal but when he is happy to see you or have a visitor he will high five, when he’s had enough he will say`bye bye’.”

Staff received training from the local Speech and Language Therapist to ensure they implemented the manding programme consistently and successfully. They also took it upon themselves to learn some Mandarin, the language that Jason's family speaks and that he was familiar enough with to understand some words.

Daily engagement means staff can support Jason in creating a structure to his day, helping him to feel more in control and reducing challenging behaviour as a result. Staff use stress balls and rain tubes to distract Jason from wanting to vomit after eating and they have involved him with the preparation of his food so that he develops a positive association with the activity. Activities have also slowly been introduced as his health has improved so that he now weighs more than 50kg.

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