Guest Case Study – Catesbi
To honour Autism Awareness Week we are showcasing the tremendous work that Catesbi Community Interest Company do here in Dundee. They are a not-for-profit company providing information and training sessions for parents of autistic children and professionals in the field. This week we are interviewing Suzie Repova, Director of Catesbi to find out more about autism and why she started this company.
It is called a spectrum disorder because every person with autism is affected on different levels or severity. The causes of autism are still unknown. A presumption is that autism is caused by environmental and genetic factors. Speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and behavioural interventions can improve functioning in communication, life & social skills and play skills. Because of the brain plasticity, the therapy should start as early as possible. This has a better impact on future learning, better language and motor skills. Responses to therapies are individual.”
My husband and I used to foster care a boy with autism, the system failed him and there was no need for that. He is now institutionalised and struggles despite the fact he is so bright, he used to be funny and happy boy.
There is a huge lack of training for parents and professionals. We want to improve the chances for other children, families, give parents a choice and up-skill professionals.”
Guidance for parents through:
- 1 to 1 individual training program, developed by psychologists
- This takes an hour once a week over 10 – 13 weeks
- Includes: behaviour principles, reinforcement, prevention strategies, supplemental sessions when needed
- Small group of parents – Block of 8 sessions
- This is delivered in 2 hours, twice a week (resp. one a week)
- Includes: functional skills, teaching through play, assessments, motivation
- We would adapt the structure of the session to the need of the group
Parents will gain an understanding of how to:
- Teach new skills including – play and everyday life skills
- Reduce and prevent challenging behaviour
- Increase communication and social skills
Training for professionals:
- Larger training groups:
- One off session depending on what topic parents/teaching staff choose
- Whole day or few day trainings
Professionals will gain an understanding of:
- Token economy
- Reducing challenging behaviour
- Visual schedules
- Building rapport with a new learner
Whole School Behaviour Policies & Interventions – Implemented by a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA):
- Includes: 4 day whole school observation, feedback meeting and report writing
- In addition: 2/3 days fortnightly training for 3 months, ongoing frequent support
- Focus on: reduction of challenging behaviour, rewarding, precision teaching
Teachers and support staff will be able to understand behaviour and use specific teaching strategies in groups as well as with individual students.
Bespoke training packages:
- Developed for and delivered to suit third sector organisations.
Coming up soon:
- 3 months hands on training with the child and family members.
- This is for parents who have had the theory training and wish to continue with therapy on practical bases.
- This involves: detailed assessment, goals setting, data collection, compiling behaviour plan, implementation and reviews.
- Social Skills Club:
- 1 and a half hour club for preschool children struggling with social interaction.
- Children are supported by a behaviour analyst, behaviour therapist and volunteers during free and structured play.”
Virtual tours are an amazing idea to promote any business, even more when the aim is focused on accessibility, autism and disabled customers. I’m in the process of getting an accessible venue and funding for marketing.
Fingers crossed we can do our own virtual tour asap!!”
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone 07922 824 758 – please do leave a message
Drop in @Volunteer Action Angus in Forfar:
- 9th April 2018 9.30am – 11.30am
- 10th April 2018 12.30pm – 14.30pm”
Thanks you Suzie Repova, Director of Catesbi for answering our questions.