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Evaluating a supported living service in Newport for six tenants with autism and high support needs

Five case studies are described of individuals with autism and complex needs, who moved into a specially designed supported living scheme in Newport, called Ty Nant. The evaluation aims to answer the question, "Does the Ty Nant model of independent living with support provide optimal quality of life outcomes for tentants who have been diagnosed with autism and/or whose behaviour challenges their service?"

The scheme, managed by the National Autistic Society, was designed to help support those with autism and "challenging behaviour" move into their own home in the community, and for some of the six individuals described, to move back into their own home. While six individuals started the project, only 5 case studies were completed as one tenant moved out so the final assessments couldn't be done. The case studies were part of a 3 year evaluation project, carried out by the NAS and Newport City Council which looked at the effectiveness of the autism specific design features of the building and also the effect of the individuals having their own living space, full lifestyle and NAS support methodologies. Some views, prior to the start of the project, questioned that such individuals would benefit from supported living style services. However, the case studies demonstrate a tremendous benefit to the individuals in terms of living in their own environments and having access to facilities in their own flats.

The evaluation included a baseline assessment of the individauls and then 2 further follow-up assessments over the following years to chart progress. The main areas of focus were on development of lifestyle (e.g. activities, inclusion in everyday activities such as household tasks, community living), communication development, incidents of challenging behaviour and links with family. The case studies included input from the individual, their family and staff.

Read a summary of the evaluation report here

Read case study A here

Read case study K here

Read case study L here

Read case study N here

Read case study S here

Author: Louise Albert, The National Autistic Society

Date added: 17th January 2012