Communication & Social
Independent Living Skills
Positive Behaviour Supports
AUTISM PRACTITIONERS (MAP’s)
Mansfield Autism Practitioners deliver in home family and educational support for clients over a period of twelve months. MAP’s support children and young people aged between two and sixteen years. Our Autism Practitioners work closely with families to develop individualised goals relating to independent living skills, social and communication skills, emotion regulation and health and wellbeing. We tailor all strategies to the individual.
MAP’s visit clients all across Victoria. The role of the MAP is to assist families to develop the skill and confidence to work and live with their child/children who have autism. MAP’s achieve this by:
- Helping to prioritise goals
- Help to develop strategies which suit the needs of the individual client & family
- Model strategies to be used and work alongside parents
- Act as a Parent Advocate at meetings
- Assist with networking families to appropriate services and resources
- In-servicing and working with educational, recreational, respite and other services which are involved with the client
- Offering in-services of various topics revolving around Autism for service providers.
In 2011 our MAP service (formerly the Travelling Teacher Service) was part of a research project conducted by Monash University into the effectiveness of the service and the outcomes for families. The research was conducted by Dr Avril Brereton and Ms Kerry Bull and funded by the Victorian Government Department of Human Services, Disability Services.
The Research Project concluded that:
‘In response to the initial visit from the TT and the first six months of service delivery, significant improvements were found in overall child emotional and behavioural disturbance (psychopathology), improved adaptive behaviour skills and a lessening of autism symptoms compared with a wait list control group.’
Further more ‘benefits were also shown for parents/carers who had significantly improved parental mental health and adjustment and decreased stress in response to the first six months of service compared with parents/carers who were still on the wait list.’
‘This study has produced empirical evidence through qualitative and quantitative investigation that the MASS TTS provides benefits for children with an ASD and their parents/carers. The MASS TTS confirms that successful and effective programmes work with parents as collaborative partners to assess family and child needs and also seek to empower and support family members by offering ASD specific education programmes, with a focus on family centred practice, teaching in natural learning environments and providing positive, continuous support.’
Read more about our MAP Service which has empirical evidence supporting the model of service and the outcomes for individuals and families
Developing Person Centred Goals, Outcomes and Strategies
We take a holistic approach when planning interventions by developing a full profile of the client. This allows us to see the whole child and not just the behaviours of concern. Our client profiles highlight the client’s strengths, interests and preferred learning styles. We believe in having strong expectations that individuals with autism can learn and be actively engaged in meaningful activities. Developed in collaboration with families and allied health services our goals are individualised, relevant and extend the child’s skills.
Goal Setting Process
1. Broad goals are developed with families during an Initial Access Visit (prior to the allocation of a MAP – all families will be visited by a regional coordinator to complete a history of development and establish broad priorities of the family)
2. MAP’s work with the family to develop an intervention plan – the intervention plan specifies goals to focus on and strategies and supports to meet the goals.
3. MAP’s develop visuals and supports to help the client achieve their goals and then work with families to model these strategies
4. A written update on progress is provided by MAP’s following visits
Positive Behaviour Supports
Positive Behaviour Support is a comprehensive approach to assessment, planning and intervention that focuses on addressing the person’s needs, their environment and overall quality of life. We work closely with families to determine the underlying cause for the behaviour. MAP’s always treat behaviour as a form of communication, and we work together to determine the purpose of it. Positive Behaviour Supports we encourage at home are:
• Using visuals, routines & schedules
• changing or making accommodations within the environment
• helping clients experience and try a range of new activities to help keep them engaged in life
• ensuring positive relationships are formed
• developing a Behaviour Support Plan if required that includes primary prevention and responding to early signs of behaviour
As a service provider it is important for us to measure changes in behaviour. Our priority is to increase a persons quality of life by reducing behavioural and emotional disturbances in our clients. To measure this we use the Developmental Behaviour Checklist – parent & teacher versions (Einfeld & Tongue, 2002). It is an empirically validated tool for measuring change.
We also measure the impact our support has on parental mental health. We measure mental wellbeing using the General Health Questionnaire and Stress Thermometer. Parent / carers will be asked to complete the checklists prior to a MAP visit and towards the end of the twelve visits. Individual outcomes are available on request.
Download a FlyerAutism Practitioner Flyer