Autistic Support Services throughout Devon

Our goal is for autistic and anxious individuals to flourish alongside workplace culture, creativity, productivity and effectiveness.

We offer a variety of services across Devon for:

  • indviduals
  • staff in educational provisions
  • training providers
  • businesses

Scroll down to explore how we can help you.

Support for Individuals & Education Staff

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1-to-1 Transitions Coaching

Our 1-to-1 coaching programme consists of a series of personalised sessions rooted in an individual’s strengths, wishes and needs and focused on an identified transition goal.

Download a case study.

The desired transition may relate to a change of education setting, access to a work experience placement, or the shift from education into a workplace for training or employment.

Together, we will build and follow an agreed action plan, using a variety of strategies to build confidence and support the transition journey.

The pace and session environments will be determined by individual needs; these could be a combination of home, school/college environment, workplace, WayMakers’ transport, public transport, or a public venue such as a library, cafe or park.

Typically 10 sessions, at one per week, dependent on individual needs.

Download a referral form

“What if my child/student/employee still isn’t ready for the transition by the 10th session?”

If your young person is willing to continue engaging, we can extend the programme.

That’s so long as we all agree that it’s in everyone’s best interests. The key question will be, “Have they made progress towards their transition goal?” If the answer is “yes”, then it may be that they’ve gained enough to complete their journey without WayMakers’ support.

Getting Out to Get On: an outdoor group option for 18-30 year olds

Partnering with Hakeford Woods Forest School CIC, this is a wellbeing project for 22 to 30 year old autistic adults, and for those with anxiety-related challenges.

This six week programme offers an opportunity for low-key social connections, woodland crafts and access to specialist coaching support. Lockdown can feel limiting: this is a chance to do something positive and purposeful in beautiful surroundings.

Taster session: 18 January 2021

Programme begins 8 March 2021

Half-day and full day options.

For basic details, see our poster: Getting Out to Get On

For further information, see our supplementary information sheet or contact us.

Download our referral form here.

Annual Review of EHC Plans

Planning ahead offers young people and their families reassurance that they won’t fall between the gaps.

Often the fear of changes in physical environment is wrapped up in anxieties about how information will be transferred, how new relationships will be formed, and how new timetable structures or transport arrangements will be navigated.

WayMakers can help ease these worries in advance of a known transition. Services depend on individual needs:

1. EHC Plan Annual Review meeting attendance:

An exploration of transition support strategies may allow for a plan to be formed and agreed in the meeting.

2. EHC Plan Annual Review meeting attendance & Follow-Up Report:

WayMakers can join the meeting and then provide a personalised follow-up report of recommendations afterwards.

3. EHC Plan Annual Review meeting attendance, Follow-Up Report & Coaching

Following either of the above, WayMakers can be enlisted to provide 1-to-1 coaching support for the transition when the time comes.

Make an enquiry

Managing Coaching Conversations with Anxious Learners

CPD training for teachers & support staff

Coaching in education is fast becoming recognised as a life-changing route to developing resilience. When delivered well, it builds self-knowledge, self-esteem and autonomy, and can change the learning game forever. 

A ‘reluctant learner’ always harbours anxiety of some kind, and this persistent yet uninvited guest creates enormous barriers in any learning environment. By listening closely and recognising individual strengths, needs and wishes, we can support children and young people to work towards goals of their choosing.

This workshop upskills staff, by deepening an understanding of barriers, providing strategies to help learners overcome them, and offering techniques for goal setting and action planning.

Typically a ½ day workshop. 

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Support for Training Providers & Businesses, and the Individuals within them

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WayMakers for Business

Diversity and inclusion are currently buzz words.

If this means the world is realising the benefits of improving diversity and inclusion practices, we will gladly power the trend train forward.

Why? Not to be trendy. But to:

  • improve the lives and opportunities of individuals who so often face barriers into work;
  • enable businesses to benefit from the skills, creativity and commitment they will likely find in an autistic employee;
  • help workplaces develop a practical understanding of autism to improve their inclusion practices and on-the-ground culture;
  • provide guidance on reasonable adjustments for autistic staff/ These are usually straightforward, inexpensive and beneficial to productivity.

How?

Well, how many people do you know who are autistic? The chances are, at least one.

And because autism is a “hidden” or “invisible” condition, you may not be aware of it.

But this one person may well power up an element of your business activity.

Find out more: contact alex@waymakers.co.uk

Did you know that the government will fund up to £60,700 per individual per annum for support needs in the workplace?

Click here for a downloadable guide for employers about the Access to Work scheme.

[See Resources page for easy-read version.]

Autistic talent

Autistic individuals may be immensely focused and hard-working, they may be strategic thinkers or have a keen eye for detail, they may have an exceptional memory or be driven to adhere closely to rules and systems to get a job done well.

And yet many workplaces may have been inaccessible options for them so far.

An interview alone may be too daunting and uncomfortable. Without knowledge of their autism, an interviewer may form a snap-judgement about their social conduct and can’t see them “fitting in”.

Or perhaps an interviewer loves the potential in a candidate and gives them a job, but certain aspects of the role or working environment pose repeated challenges and lead to staff absences or, worse, disciplinary action.

Again, an employer may look upon this from a neurotypical standpoint and feel this isn’t a good fit after all.

Does it have to be this way? No.

By developing an organisation’s understanding of autism and making a few small adjustments, it is possible for everyone’s needs to be met, resulting in success for the individual and the wider business.

All organisations function best when workplace culture is supportive, flexible and able to unlock the potential of each employee.

What does it take to achieve this? Committed, compassionate leaders.

Those leaders who recognise the strengths of individual staff and know how to harness these to fuel the development of their business, often reap the rewards tenfold.

Besides better business performance, they also have a body of workers who are motivated, who feel valued, and who strive to achieve great results.

WayMakers has the expertise and skills to help you build a better business.

Autism Training & Consultancy

To deepen your organisation’s understanding of diversity and inclusion in relation to autism, we deliver CPD workshops and consultancy.

Workshops can be tailored to your needs and with the nature of your business in mind and are delivered by professionals experienced in delivering accessible, engaging content.

Improving outcomes for young trainees and staff with autism and/or anxiety is paramount.

We share practical, solution-focused tools together with an overview of the autistic spectrum to develop your team’s knowledge of autism and their ability to embrace a broader workforce.

As our understanding and awareness of individual needs develops, taboos are eliminated and in their place, greater confidence in sharing information about ourselves grows.

Suitable for all those involved in recruiting, supervising, supporting and working alongside those with autism, our training is not stand-alone but is intended to form part of your organisation’s best practice as managed by HR.

Autism Awareness session – 90 minutes

Working with Autism Workshops – ½ day

Find out more: contact alex@waymakers.co.uk

Workplace Needs Screenings & Guidance

WayMakers conducts personalised workplace needs screenings in connection with a current or prospective candidate, trainee or employee.

A screening will evaluate the demands of a role and relevant environmental factors to identify:

– how you can get the best out of the individual, and

– how to manage any challenges they may face.

Following screening and evaluation, a bespoke Guidance Report will be provided to recommend the ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ that will improve the likelihood of lasting success for both employer and employee.

Adjustments are usually low cost and straightforward, such as making slight changes to the workstation, the pattern of the working day, or perhaps to the manner in which a duty is carried out.

‘Reasonable adjustments’ are what it says on the tin: reasonable. They are designed to get the best out of your staff.

Visit, meeting & follow-up Guidance Report

Find out more: contact alex@waymakers.co.uk

Access to Work funding may be available for adjustments beyond those considered “reasonable” for the size of the business.

Click here for a downloadable guide to the Access to Work scheme.

Job Coaching

Are you the autistic client?

Are you faced with a work-related scenario that poses a signifcant challenge? Perhaps regarding:

  • accessing an interview?
  • a routinely stressful journey to work that sets your day up badly?
  • the physical environment of your workplace?
  • the way your manager or co-workers communicate or respond to you?

These are all details that can be addressed with the right support and insight.

Find out more: contact alex@waymakers.co.uk

Access to Work funding may be available for job coaching.

Click here for an easy-read guide to the Access to Work scheme.

Are you the line manager?

Do you have a member of your team who is effective and hard-working and yet there are difficulties that are hard to resolve? Perhaps it’s regarding:

  • work processes,
  • understanding,
  • team dynamics.

Might they be autistic? Possibly. Not definitely.

But what a shame it would be if an otherwise excellent worker couldn’t fulfil their potential as a result of an easily resolved difficulty.

WayMakers’ 1-to-1 coaching programme is for trainees or employees who are struggling to fulfil their role as a result of autism. Solution-focused, our support recognises barriers and works from a strengths-based perspective, supporting the individual and employer to reach an agreed action plan of adjustments that will improve wellbeing and effectiveness at work.

It’s a win-win solution.

Starting from 6 sessions, at one per week.

Find out more: contact alex@waymakers.co.uk

Access to Work funding may be available for job coaching.

Click here for an employer’s guide to the Access to Work scheme.

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