For over 30 years we have been developing innovative services for people whose behaviours may challenge, and/or people with autistic spectrum support needs.
Choice Support believes that if people have choice and control in their lives to do the things they want and are supported in the way they want, their challenging behaviours are likely to reduce.
Most challenging behaviour services work on a reactive model, which means that when challenging behaviour occurs there is a response, such as restraint or another negative reaction. Services like these tend to end up defining people by their 'difficult' behaviour, and forgetting about the rest of people's lives. PBS is different because it is pro-active, and it recognizes that behaviours that challenge should be seen in the context of people's whole lives, and not treated in isolation.
Our PBS team is currently working with four people to help them move on from hospital assessment and treatment units (ATUs). Unfortunately there are many people across the UK who remain living in ATUs far longer than recommended and a long distance from their closest family and friends.
Our aim is for individuals we support and their staff to have the skills to lead as independent a life as possible. Staff learn how to develop in new areas including understanding and empathy for the person they are supporting. We help individuals we support to learn new skills in communication. We also carry out assessments to identify people’s unmet needs.
We use a method called Active Support which concentrates on actively involving people in all aspects of their lives. By doing this people’s challenging behaviour will reduce. We work to involve people’s families and those who know the person well. We also ensure that a person’s environment suits them better.
Over time our approach can lead to the need for less but higher quality support.
Our PBS team supports and trains staff to increase local expertise across the organisation. This enables our staff to support people who may challenge their service and/or people who may be on the autistic spectrum. At times the PBS team works directly in some of the organisation’s services.
A life transformed
Kathy, now in her mid-fifties, was admitted to hospital when she was 13 after regularly attacking her brother and sister. Kathy then spent her life living either in hospital or registered care. Support from Choice Support has completely changed her situation. She now rents her own flat in London, gets out regularly and has her own hobbies and interests. You can read about how PBS has helped Kathy in A Life transformed – Kathy’s story which was published in Community Living magazine.
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