Finding good support providers for autistic children

Something I’ve come to learn is, finding good support providers for autistic children. Is a bit like looking for the golden egg/fleece, or Poseidon’s Trident. Or whatever other mythical object you might want to find. We have been fairly lucky that Jack goes to a really good place for overnight respite, every other week. Finding a good service provider for weekly daytime respite, has proven a lot more difficult. We have gone through a few in our time, for a variety of different reasons.

The first provider we had ceased to exist due to lack of funding, so we moved to another one. Not long after the same thing happened again. The next one we had for a couple of years before cancelling only recently. They were okay, with 2 workers taking Jack out for 3 hours a week, which he really enjoyed. The trouble was, the turnover in staff was ridiculously high, which caused problems. As Jack would get upset when people would leave.

The staff also weren’t given any real training, and far too many times we were let down by people not turning up. Or cancelling at the last minute, which caused major problems. Telling an autistic child that their plan for the day has been changed at the last second, or 30 minutes after he was supposed to have gone out, which happened a few times. With no real explanation as to why to give him, is a recipe for disaster.

Searching for a new provider

With this in mind we have been searching for a new provider, for a while nothing was coming up. Then we were recommended a place, that sounded so perfect for Jack. A provider that could give Jack the 2 to 1 support he needs. They have their own centre, where Jack can go and do all sorts of activities. He can also mix with other autistic kids of his own age if he wants to, and he really wants to. He finds new people difficult and it will take time. They can also take him out into the community, and the big one is the service continues into adulthood. This is unheard of, I’ve never certainly never heard anything like this before. So we desperate to try and get Jack on their books.

We had the issue over needing funding increased to allow Jack to have 6 hours a week, to make it worthwhile. We got the funding in place, for him to go over the summer holidays. He went for the first time this Thursday.

Jack’s first visit

Jack is always anxious about going to a new place, even somewhere he is looking forward to going to. So we put all the ground work in, to make him as comfortable as possible. The people who were going to be looking after him, came to meet him. They showed him photos of where he would be going, and talked to him about what he likes, and what he wanted to do.

On the day, Jack’s support workers came to pick him up, and he was so excited he shot straight out of the door. I had to call him back, as he forgot his bag. It was a good sign that he was so happy to be going! He was really happy when he came home, and even brought home some homemade pizza for us to eat. And he had all our favourite toppings, Pepperoni for Mum and Lily, and vegetation for me. Which shows he was putting thought into what we liked as he did them, which is nice.

Finding good support providers for autistic children

He talked all about what he had been doing, and how he met lots of new people. He said he can’t wait to go back next week, and even asked why he can’t go everyday. In the evening we did have a meltdown, which would have come from all the sensory input, throughout the day. He was fine again afterwards, it’s just one of those things. Jack will always have meltdowns. Hopefully when he fully settles into the routine of going there, he will be able to stay calmer.

Overall though, finding good support providers for autistic children, is no easy task. We are really pleased with the one we have found, especially as it’s not something that will suddenly stop when he turns 18. Which is what happens with his current overnight respite. We are a few years away from that yet, but it soon comes round.

If you want any advice about service providers, please feel free to ask. As always, thank you for reading.

Dad Does Autism

My name is Adam. I live with my partner Natalie, and our 2 children Jack and Lily. Both children are autistic, it is now my mission to show what life around autism is like. Spread the awareness and gain the acceptance that autistic people deserve.

26 thoughts on “Finding good support providers for autistic children

  • July 31, 2020 at 11:56 pm
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    I’m happy Jack enjoyed the new center. Thank you for this great information and insights into your world. I pray that everything will work out for you and your family. Take care.

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    • August 1, 2020 at 10:56 am
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      Thank you, really appreciate the show of support 😊

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  • August 1, 2020 at 12:26 am
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    Our 23 years old son has Autism; diagnosed at age 2. I will be visiting our blog often.

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    • August 1, 2020 at 10:57 am
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      Thank you, I hope you find it useful.

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  • August 1, 2020 at 2:33 pm
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    Adam this is so helpful and you have shared some great information. I don’t know much about Autism so I find your blog posts very interesting.

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    • August 3, 2020 at 1:13 am
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      Thanks Lauren, I’m glad your finding the posts interesting.

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  • August 1, 2020 at 5:09 pm
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    Definitely doesn’t sound like a straightforward task, thanks for the insight! I hope Jack settles into the new routine very soon 🙂

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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    • August 1, 2020 at 5:16 pm
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      Thank you, he will do 😊

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  • August 1, 2020 at 8:20 pm
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    Hey Adam! I’m glad Jack loved his new centre and that he will be able to keep going when he grows up, especially if it’s such a great place as it seems now. However, it’s sad to hear that the first two places he used to go to had to close down due to a lack of funding… It’s one of those things that just shouldn’t happen. Anyway, I hope Jack enjoys this experience!

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    • August 1, 2020 at 10:42 pm
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      Thank you, you are so right, funding shouldn’t be the major issue that it is. To be honest we’ve been quite fortunate compared to some.

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  • August 2, 2020 at 12:15 pm
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    Cute and heartwarming story. I’m happy that Jack enjoyed the new centre. Thank you for sharing this story.

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  • August 2, 2020 at 6:52 pm
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    It’s so good that Jack felt comfortable with the newer provider, and enjoyed his time. I can’t imagine the difficulties you face in trying to organise, especially when funding can be an issue. I guess different localities will work differently too, won’t they?

    Aimsy xoxo

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    • August 2, 2020 at 7:37 pm
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      Thanks, yeah each county council runs there owns things there own way, and then a lot of stuff is done by small local charities. We have some good ones around us, other places seem to have nothing.

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  • August 2, 2020 at 8:06 pm
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    It’s so sad that it’s hard to find service providers! I wish it was easier to transition from teen to adult in these programs.

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    • August 2, 2020 at 9:18 pm
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      It really is, and normally there’s no transition, it’s your too old now, goodbye, go find somewhere else 🤦‍♂️

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  • August 2, 2020 at 8:39 pm
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    I’m glad he enjoyed his first visit and he’s looking forward to going back, that must be a huge worry before he goes somewhere new. It’s such a shame that the first couple had to close because of funding issues. I can understand how the constant new faces are a struggle. I hope this place turns out to be a success in the long run 😊

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    • August 2, 2020 at 9:20 pm
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      Thank you, I’m really hoping this one a place he can keep going to for years to come.

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  • August 2, 2020 at 11:02 pm
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    I’m sure finding good support providers is really important and very good to have once you find them! Thanks for sharing this post!

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  • August 3, 2020 at 4:33 am
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    The new centre sounds like a great place! And how amazing that the care continues into adulthood. I imagine having that continuity and familiarity would be so helpful.

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    • August 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm
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      Thank you, that continuity will be so important 😊

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  • August 4, 2020 at 1:11 am
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    Glad to hear Jack enjoyed the new place.

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    • August 6, 2020 at 8:34 pm
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      Thank you, the slow reply is because I find your recent comments lurking in the spam folder 🤦‍♂️ That shouldn’t happen in future.

      Reply
  • August 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm
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    Sounds like Jack had a great experience with his provider. So nice that he was so happy about going that he forgot his bag, haha!

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    • August 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm
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      Yeah it made me chuckle, he’s usually so precise about making sure he’s got all the things he takes everywhere.

      Reply

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