When we analysed, through the completion of a survey that the counsellor administered, the cohort of those accessing a longer term service we found that an increasing number were classed as having a learning disability, or ASD (autism spectrum disorder). We completed further discussions including a focus group with the young people, as well as their parents and carers and discovered that many of them had been trying to access mental health and emotional support for years.
They told us that professionals needed to be more aware and better trained about their child’s condition and needed not to assume that they couldn’t engage with therapy as a result of their ASD or LD. Anger Management, emotional regulation and positive behaviour training were key needs.
The conclusion of these consultations lead us to believe that earlier, timely interventions, particularly around behavioural and conflict situations would have enabled more young people to reach their potential earlier in their lives, stayed in mainstream education, performed better at school and led happier more fulfilling lives as young adults.
Thanks to the Big Lottery Community Fund we will be offering two elements in 2020; a series of trainings for professionals to increase their awareness and skills of working with these young people and improving access for young people needing patience longer term support.
For more information about the programme contact Martin Hogg at Martin(at)CitizenCoaching.com