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Danshell Learning Disability and Autism Services 

Danshell supports and cares for adults living with a learning disability or autism in specialist hospitals and residential services. Our aim is to deliver effective and outcome based services within person centred, professional care environments. We support individuals with a learning disability, who are on the autistic spectrum or have mental or physical ill health. We set high standards for ourselves in the delivery of care, and most importantly, we put service users at the centre of everything we do.

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Andrew's* Journey


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Andrew* is a 45 year old gentleman with a severe learning disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and communication difficulties.

Andrew* was admitted to Cedar Vale under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. He had transferred from a low secure setting where many restrictions were in place. Coming to a less-restrictive setting was new to Andrew* and was the next part of his care pathway.

Initially Andrew* exhibited severe challenging behaviours towards those caring for him at Cedar Vale. This physical aggression towards others and self-injurous behaviours had an adverse effect on his daily living. However, the multidisciplinary team used several different assessments and observations to analyse the functions of Andrew’s* behaviours and what they achieved for him. The team identified Andrew’s* need for structure and routine in his day, due to his autistic traits.

A comprehensive daily routine was developed for him, along with a communication passport to help supporting staff understand his needs and wishes. It was important that staff were able to proactively identify Andrew’s* needs to avoid behaviours before they may happen, using a Positive Behavioural approach.

From the beginning, Cedar Vale has maintained close contact with his family and he is now able to communicate with them via regular Skype calls. This is something that is extremely important to him. He has settled in well and now has access to lots of activities and interactions which he finds meaningful, whether this is a meeting with a cup of tea, or a trip to the swimming pool to have a splash around! The team at Cedar Vale are now looking at identifying a future placement for him, with the appropriate environment, staff team and level of future support taken into consideration.