Henshaws support for autistic people

Henshaws specialises in enabling adults with learning difficulties, complex health needs and physical disabilities to be the best they can be and achieve beyond expectations.

We support many autistic people through our services in Yorkshire. Our experienced staff understand the challenges being autistic can bring and how it can affect people in very different ways.

Henshaws Specialist College

Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate provides specialist further education for students with a range of learning difficulties and disabilities. Through our personalised approach to education, learning and care we empower these young people to progress and live life the way they want.

We offer a specialist educational programme for autistic young people  to develop transferable skills for life and living, build confidence and solve day to day challenges. Our Skills for life and living programme provides a structured educational pathway for students who are autistic, often along with wider additional needs.

William has been able to reveal his vivid imagination after staff helped him develop his communication skills. He is now beginning to share his own experiences and make up stories using the narrative approach.

Henshaws Housing & Support Services

Henshaws Housing & Support gives people the opportunity to live more independently within the community by finding a housing solution specific to their needs.  As well as our own Residential and Supported Living houses, we also work with tenants independently or with other housing providers to develop a personalised programme of support. We have particular experience in assisting people in transitional stages of their life and young people leaving specialist further education.

We helped Seb to realise his dream of Two young men sat at a tablemoving into a supported house with others his own age, learning independent living and life skills. Initially Seb had a lot of anxiety around his new environment, particularly as he is very sensitive to noise.  To alleviate this he was encouraged to write down any issues so he could communicate his feelings better and to wear earphones to filter out extra noise – which has been a big success.

Arts & Crafts Centre

Through workshops at our Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough people living with a range of disabilities discover their talents, put them into practice and realise their full potential. Over one third of our Art Makers are autistic in addition to their physical or learning disability.

We develop a bespoke timetable for each of our Art Makers taking into account their specific needs. Many of our Art Makers who are autistic choose to start in one of our multisensory workshops.  As they grow in confidence we support them to widen the workshops they access, trying new activities and experiencing different group sizes and dynamics.

When Art Maker James first started attending the music workshop he Art Maker James on stage singing Dad'd Army songs for our Henshaws Got Talent competitionfound it hard to concentrate for the whole session and would sometimes leave the room with his support worker. By supporting James to get more involved in the session, he has become more confident and loves singing along to a range of music.


Read more about our work in autism on our blog

Poem for World Autism Day

Sophie is an SEN Support Worker at Henshaws Specialist College. She recently wrote a poem book called changes for ages and has shared this poem about autism with us.

We can't do it without you

Henshaws rely on voluntary donations; our work just wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Your support empowers local people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to increase their independence, achieve their dreams, and go beyond expectations.

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