Working with people with autism: the professionals (11 minutes)

In this film a social worker supporting a young man with autism with his transition to adult services and a care worker in a day setting discuss effective support for people with autism. They talk of the need to challenge and stimulate people with autism, while focusing at all times on very skilled communication methods, and on the need of many people with autism for structure and relatively tranquil environments. We see that good transition planning must always involve the person with autism and those that know them best, including paid staff and family members.

With thanks to the National Autistic Society, Research Autism, and Joe Powell for their support in advising on this film.

Messages for practice

  1. Good communication with people with autism is vital. This includes recognising behaviour triggers, using visual prompts and speaking in short, clear sentences.
  2. Structure can help people with autism make sense of their day.
  3. It is important to emphasise positives when working with people with autism.
  4. Effective support depends on empathy and understanding the world from the perspective of the person with autism.
  5. People with autism usually respond best to a calm environment.
  6. People who know the person with autism well, including paid carers and family members, should be involved in effective transition planning.

Who will find this useful?

Front-line staff in social care services; social work staff.