April 28, 2023

Lifeworks staff experience autism reality


How autism can present immense challenges

Occasionally we experience something special that will remain with us for a very, very long time and aid us throughout our lives. That’s what the newest team members at Lifeworks Robins, alongside some of their colleagues from Lifeworks College, have experienced recently when they attended training on the Autism Bus.

The Autism Reality Experience, run by Training2Care UK Ltd, is a mobile unit that travels the length and breadth of the country providing an immersive experience for people who are non-autistic; helping them to better understand some of the challenges faced by those on the autistic spectrum.

The ‘experience’ element of the training enables staff to truly comprehend, in the best way possible, just how difficult the most basic tasks can be for autistic young people. The team have learned how autism can present immense challenges to approaching and encountering daily activities a neurotypical person would simply take for granted: the sound of a clock ticking, or a hoover whirring, the smell of perfume or cooking, being asked to tidy away crayons or coins into boxes, bright lights, flashing lights – all of these simple tasks and many more can and do create real difficulties for our young people and adults.

Staff now have a deeper appreciation of the struggles experienced by the young people we support, but also even more respect and admiration – as if that were possible – for how they cope with rudimentary elements of daily life at home, in their educational setting, and in the community. Not only has it developed the staff team in very imaginative ways, but it has also empowered them to directly benefit all of our young people.

It has brought to life all the knowledge staff attain throughout their career at Lifeworks, and the advanced theory element at the end of the practical session solidifies and expands on that awareness. The young people in our care really do amaze and delight us on a daily basis, and this training has further proved how privileged we are to support them to develop their life skills and face the future head-on. Not bad for a few hours on a bus!

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