Welcome to the New Atlass website

Atlass was formed by a group of practitioners with many years experience working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and agencies who support them. In our work we recognise that autism not only affects the individual but also those around the individual and we therefore take a holistic approach to support and intervention.

We have become increasingly aware of the role that stress plays for the individual with autism, their experience of their symptoms and for their family and carers. We have therefore developed a range of services which specifically acknowledges the management of stress and the development of coping skills as an essential part of the therapeutic process.

Through this new website we plan to present the latest news, papers, views and knowledge in the area of ASD’s – please keep in touch.

Training

We provide generic training in developing an understanding of autism spectrum disorders and challenging behaviour. We also deliver training which is more specific to groups or topic areas. These include:

  • Parent workshops
  • Carers and foster carers workshops
  • Seminars for Professionals
  • Understanding Sexuality and Autism
  • Responding to difficult or challenging behaviour
  • Developing Positive Behaviour Support Strategies
  • Understanding and working with people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Using cognitive behavioural approaches

We have been innovative in developing highly specialised workshops for parents and family member that have been evaluated by parents groups, local authorities and voluntary sector agencies. Evaluations have found these sessions to be of great value to participants, with the impact on the development of coping skills having a long term benefit.

Our training philosophy

Our practitioners work with children and adults across the autism spectrum and across the lifespan. Our training sessions are designed with this in mind and stress both the similarities and differences of people with ASD. Whenever training is requested we pay great attention to the needs of the client and ensure that training is tailored to meet those needs.

To work with people with ASD our training philosophy is based on the following key principles:

  • We believe that an understanding of sensory issues can lead to effective behaviour support strategies for children and adults with ASD.
  • All our training is evidenced based.
  • The experiences and stories of people with ASD are an important core component of our training.
  • An understanding of stress can help to provide an explanatory framework for challenging behaviours.
  • Low arousal approaches are a central core of the approach.

Training duration

Training courses vary from 1-5 days depending on need. A pre training assessment informs the content of all training we deliver.

We evaluate all training at the end of the course and use this information to inform and develop our training sessions.

Intervention

Intervention can take many forms, ranging from practical support for families, to developing and implementing practical non- aversive behaviour support plans for services.

Family work can involve meeting with parents to discuss how they are best coping with their son/daughters behaviour to helping them establish systems of positive behavioural support.

Work with services frequently involves assessing the nature of the difficulty to the service, staff training, development of behavioural support plans and assisting the service in implementing behavioural support strategies.

Direct work with individuals usually focuses on developing support systems for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome or high functioning autism. Our direct work often looks at common problems such as anger management, sexual behaviour, feelings of low mood, managing adolescence and reducing anxiety.

In addition our practitioners have developed specific skills around issues of stress, coping skills, problems with arousal and difficulties with movement.

We recognise that the management of stress is a key mediator in the expression of symptoms for people on the autism spectrum. Direct intervention can often focus on moderating the impact of stress and assisting the individual to develop coping strategies.

In our direct work with individuals a key element of intervention is the development of coping skills relative to the person’s context. As such intervention is not generally exclusively limited to working with the individual in isolation but also involves those who support them.

Autism Support Services

Autism Support Services

Our support services provide specialised advice from leading psychologists in the field. The ATLASS team help people to design positive behaviour support plans and provide practical advice to staff and families. To this end, ATLASS provides a variety of support services. These include:

  1. Assessment
  2. Diagnostic advice and support.

We provide assistance in the diagnostic process where there is ambiguity over diagnostic criteria. Our psychologists have been contracted to assist colleagues in health and local authorities where there has been confusion over diagnosis and where there is consideration of other possible co-morbid conditions.

In addition we provide support and advice for families, local authorities and health boards where an individual has just received a diagnosis of an ASD and where there is difficulty in identifying the most appropriate service configuration.
Behavioural Support Assessment

Much of our work involves developing detailed assessment reports where an individual is placing considerable challenge on a service and where there is guidance needed to assist in identifying future direction. Such reports provide clear recommendations and there is opportunity for all agencies to meet with the author and discuss how those recommendations can be implemented.

Advice and consultancy

Advice and Consultancy

We provide advice on developing effective educational supports for schools, places of further education and resource centres. In addition, our practitioners can assist social care providers in establishing effective systems for working with people who have ASD’s, and we have been instrumental in assisting services in auditing their practice form an Autism friendly perspective.

Most of our consultancy work has focussed on assisting statutory agencies in developing the most appropriate service specification for individuals with ASD’s. We have assisted local authorities in identifying the most appropriate service for individuals, and have assisted in the recruitment and training of staff. This arrangement has proved cost efficient to local authorities as it has meant they can invest in their own service provision while having advice and direct support at hand when required.