“The training and consultation we received was innovative, up to date and relevant to our workplace.”
John Campbell, National Director, Autism Initiatives Ireland
One of Jim’s early experiences in Autism was to set up a class and service for a group of pupils who had reached school leaving age. The model he created formed the basis of the first service for Adults with Autism in Scotland. In recent times, he has worked extensively with Adult services, transferring his knowledge about environments and communication to a wide array of services around the UK. Many services are challenged by how to make the lives of their service users more meaningful and purposeful and in how they move beyond simply providing care. By becoming more aware of the potential of people with Autism and for services to become clearer about what it is that makes them specialists in Autism, some services have made major progress and the life experiences of the service users have become much more enriched.
Jim’s training, as listed in the Knows Training page, has been very influential in some adult services in developing their thinking and raised their expectations of the people with Autism with whom they work.
Jim believes that people with Autism have the right to work and to be gainfully occupied in settings that bring rhythm and purpose to their lives. Many people with Autism have exceptional skills and could be an asset to potential employers. Jim supports organisations develop employability skills for people and can work alongside employers to help them understand how to maximise these skills. It can often be difficult for people with Autism to secure a job while employers can lack confidence and understanding. Working with both parties, Jim can increase the ability to manage relationships and expectations effectively. Acknowledging and addressing the areas of communication, inter-staff relationships and organisational skills, can have a huge impact on the confidence of both parties and can reduce anxieties and improve performance.
Jim feels even more strongly that the philosophy of introducing meaningful employment and purposeful occupation should be extended to ALL people with Autism. It may not always be possible to achieve paid employment and so he works very closely with organisations concentrating on the content of the day for adults where they are always in the position to learn new skills and strategies and extend their experiences.