Examples of reasonable adjustments that could be made for individuals with autism

Examples of reasonable adjustments that could be made for individuals with autism

Level 5 Diploma in Health and Social Care Management Answers and Guides

Care Learning

3 mins READ

Making changes for people with autism in health and social care settings is crucial.

It’s not just about following the Equality Act 2010. It’s about giving care that meets each person’s needs and supports their independence and dignity.

We will give examples of reasonable adjustments that could be made for individuals with autism:

Communication Changes:

  • Use pictures and symbols to help explain things.
  • Make sure there are easy-to-read materials.
  • Give extra time for people to understand and respond.
  • Speak clearly, simply, and directly.

Changes to the Environment:

  • Schedule appointments at less busy times to avoid too much noise or activity.
  • Lower lights or let people wear sunglasses indoors if bright light bothers them.
  • Offer a quiet place to wait or let people wait outside until it’s their turn.
  • Choose rooms with few distractions for meetings.

Flexible Appointments:

  • Allow more time so there’s no rush during visits.
  • Offer appointments at the start or end of the day to cut down on waiting time.
  • Home visits could be an option if coming in is too stressful.

Structured Support:

  • Keep a regular schedule for visits so people know what to expect.
  • Have a staff member who knows about autism work closely with the person.
  • Create care plans that consider how someone communicates, what they like, and how they sense things around them.

Staff Training:

  • Train all staff on understanding autism basics.
  • Teach staff how to make these important changes and why they matter.
  • Encourage staff to be flexible and understanding when making adjustments.

Information & Support:

  • Provide information packs before visits showing what will happen, including photos of staff members and facilities.
  • Help with filling out forms or explaining health info.
  • Guide individuals towards services specifically designed for those with autism.

Making Things Comfortable:

  • Letting the person use headphones that block out noise during their visit.
  • Having toys or items that help with stress ready for them to use.
  • Offering heavy blankets or other things that make them feel secure if they enjoy using those. 

Listening and Getting Better:

  • Making it easy for people with autism and their carers to tell us how we’re doing.
  • Looking at this feedback to keep making services better.

Help with Changes:

  • Giving simple information and support when moving from children’s to adult health services, including meeting new teams in advance.
  • Making plans for each person who consider what worries them about changing services.

Being Ready for Emergencies:

  • Creating emergency plans tailored to each individual, outlining calming strategies, key contacts, and what they prefer in emergencies.
  • Teaching staff how to follow these plans and calm situations down in ways that work well for people with autism.

Working Together:

  • Including people with autism and their families in planning services so they meet their needs.
  • Supporting projects where researchers work together with people who use services to make health care easier for everyone.

Customised Physical Health Care:

  • Changing physical check-ups, like letting someone stay dressed if possible or showing them what will happen using a doll.
  • Offering visits to get used to the healthcare setting without the stress of an actual check-up.

Support for Mental Health:

  • Making sure people can see mental health experts who know how autism affects conditions like anxiety, depression, or OCD.
  • Giving therapy choices that suit the way individuals with autism communicate and their sensory needs, including therapies that don’t require talking.

Occupational Therapy and Sensory Checks:

  • Having occupational therapists do checks and suggest ways to make homes, workplaces, and care areas better for sensory needs.
  • Changing things based on these suggestions to create places and routines that are easier on the senses.

Help Through Technology:

  • Using tech tools like apps for planning, reminders, or chatting to help with independence and understanding.
  • Using virtual experiences to help prepare for hospital stays, medical procedures, or new places.

Legal Help and Support in Speaking Up:

  • Sharing easy-to-understand information about legal rights in health and social care.
  • Pointing people towards services that can help them express their needs in care decisions.

Teaching Peers and the Community:

  • Running sessions in health and social care settings to raise awareness and fight stigma among peers and everyone else.
  • Creating open policies that support a welcoming environment for everyone.

Easy-to-Use Complaints Process:

  • Making sure it’s straightforward to complain if needed, including ways for those who don’t speak verbally or prefer writing.
  • Responding kindly to complaints while recognising the extra challenges faced by individuals with autism.

Making these reasonable adjustments not only makes care better for people with autism, but also helps create a health and social care environment that is more inclusive and understanding. By making sure services meet different needs, everyone in the community can get the support they need.

To make these changes happen, we need to be proactive and thoughtful. This means making services easy to use and responsive to the needs of people with autism. Doing so supports their right to good quality health and social care.

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