Henshaws supporting disabled people with autism

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 disabled people with autism through our services in Yorkshire. Our experienced staff understand the additional challenges autism can pose 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.

The Starting Point is a dedicated low-arousal setting within the College which provides a structured educational pathway for students with autism, often along with wider additional needs.

William, a student at The Starting Point, 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 autistic and 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 have autism 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 with autism 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.

Art Maker James has seveArt Maker James on stage singing Dad's Army songs for our Henshaws Got Talent competitionre learning difficulties and autism. When he first started attending the music workshop he found 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.

As part of Autism Awareness Week from 26th March-2nd April 2018, we’ll be sharing a story a day from the autistic people that we support across Henshaws. Make sure to follow our stories on our Facebook page at facebook.com/henshaws and on Twitter at twitter.com/henshaws.

Read more about our work in autism on our blog

Student William becomes a storyteller

By supporting William to develop his communication and IT skills he was able to write an original story and bring it to life through stop motion animation. What an achievement!