In March 2017 St. John’s received an Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society. We are now working towards the Advanced Autism Accreditation.
Autism Accreditation aims to set and encourage high standards of provision for autistic adults and children, based on a personalised model of support. While methods should be evidence-based and reflect what has been shown to have had positive outcomes for autistic people, the research has also shown that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and therefore, it is essential that approaches are tailored for the individual
That support needs to be rooted in an understanding that autism is an integral part of who a person is, not a disorder to be treated or suppressed so that the autistic person can present as more ‘normal’. Rather, support needs to work with a person’s autism.
Support should build upon the individual’s strengths, assets, interests and talents and enhance their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It is not about doing things for the autistic person but rather providing them with the tools, skills and confidence to enable them to take control over their own lives. This process should start from their earliest years and should be the terms of reference by which the quality and impact of support are measured.