News and EventsWe are keen to promote everything relating to Autism, Learning Disabilities and Mental Health. The articles here will cover relevant stories, client and staff successes and conferences that are happening within Brookdale and the community.
For more information on any of these stories please contact us on email@example.com
This is a private hospital exclusively for patients on the autistic spectrum, at least we were all in the same boat and I was gradually able to develop a rapport and solid connection with some of the other patients. It is most important when people are struggling with Mental Health needs to keep them occupied! On a daily basis, there was an array of stimulating activities on offer. Ranging from 5 a side football, gym sessions to games nights which included bingo/quiz /karaoke and pool tournaments. We could also access the local town centre for a change of environment and different interactions such as swimming and ten pin bowling. I also joined the local hockey team.
I was assisted in the development of daily living skills. The cooking sessions I found to be particularly beneficial. I was 23 years old and still couldn’t boil an egg. I guess I was like an astronaut as I just heated ready meals in a microwave. I found the staff to be extremely engaging and very patient. They showed me how to cook healthy but relatively simple meals. I discovered that I had the ability to cook all along, I just needed encouragement to instill confidence in the kitchen. My self-esteem levels increased when I could enjoy the results of my labour. I also learned about money management/budgeting; these are important skills which we must learn when making the transition into independent living.
The Psychology Department at Milton Park was truly outstanding and I cannot praise my psychologist Tiago Pinto enough, as he was instrumental in changing my life for the better. Over a number of years, I had seen many therapists who had absolutely no knowledge of autism, I clashed with them and found them to be of no benefit to me whatsoever. However, at Milton Park, for the first time in my life I met a professional who actually understood me. There were no barriers, no “them” and “us.” He judged me on my merits, not on this so-called label. This amazing individual taught me a strategy that transformed my life. He taught me about making positive choices in my life and I practised this strategy over the intervening months. Low and behold my life started to change for the better as together we managed to curb my impulsive nature. My psychologist helped me to understand that my poor decision making had negative consequences which in turn hindered my progression in life. He believed in me and gradually his positivity transferred to me, raising my confidence and self-esteem levels.
I remained at Milton Park for 8 months. When I was discharged, I knew that I wanted to become an advocate to raise not just awareness but also acceptance of autistic spectrum conditions. I have developed and set up my own training company called Optimism in Autism. I have spoken at various conferences on behalf of the National Autistic Society, the British Psychological Society and lectures at a University. I am a recipient of a Speaking of Difference Inspiring Young Speaker profile and I have spoken at the House of Commons for the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Autism. Once I started to have some optimism in my autism it can’t be coincidental that things in my life vastly improved. Currently I have my own flat and have recently become a father to a beautiful little girl. It is with great thanks to the wonderful and caring staff at Milton Park who helped shaped me into the man that I am today that I now enjoy my life and I am helping to make a difference for others.
Alex will be speaking at our next conference to be held on 23rd November 2017
at The County Hotel, Chelmsford
For more information about this event, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the age of 17, Katie* was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. After Katie’s offer of a provisional University place, the pressure to return and complete her A levels is believed to have triggered a deterioration in her Mental Health.
Katie was depressed with psychotic features, she had a history of self-harming, experienced tics and had an eating disorder. Before coming to Milton Park, Katie overdosed twice and at one point she absconded and walked onto train tracks when the safety barriers were down. This led to Katie being admitted to a NHS mainstream service that did not specialise in Autism.
Katie’s Pathway to Independence
In February 2016 Katie was admitted to Elstow 1 which is Milton Park’s locked rehabilitation women’s service. Katie explained that at this point she did not understand Autism at all.
Whilst on Elstow 1, Katie engaged with Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Psychiatry and the staff working with her. She received psychology sessions and psycho education which enabled her to gain insight into her diagnosis, how this affected her life and strategies to manage this. Occupational Therapy worked with her on making phone calls as this was an area she struggled with and she is now able to make phone calls confidently. Occupational Therapy also supported her with her sensory needs as this was an area of her Autism she hadn’t previously understood or known how to manage. Katie said: “Elstow 1 helped me achieve what I had wanted to when I was admitted and enabled me to progress and become ready to move into Pathway House”.
Pathway House is a residential care home on the site of Milton Park that enables patients to transition from a Mental Health hospital placement into community living and was the next step of Katie’s journey.
When Katie moved into Pathway House, she wanted to continue to build on her confidence, become more independent and get back into education. She has said that Pathway House helped with this as it provides more freedom and exposure to life experiences.
Katie’s big aim was going back into education and achieving her A levels so she could go to University. She was supported to gain confidence and experience with speaking with others, using public transport, answering emails and managing her own medication. She said: “Gaining these skills have made me become an adult and be more independent”.
Katie went to college to start her A levels, she feels that getting back into education changed her the most and that she realised she could do it with the right support.
Whilst at Pathway House Katie did suffer from a deterioration of her mental health and she experienced some psychosis. She went back to Elstow 1 for a short stay to stabilise and receive the treatment she needed at the time. With this support, she recovered quickly and returned to Pathway House within 2 weeks.
Katie completed her A levels and achieved two A stars and an A, which was a massive achievement. Katie has now started University and with support she has been able to move into the University student halls. She also attended the Tracscare Awards in April 2017 and presented the Best Autism Practice award on stage in front of almost 250 people.
* Name has been changed for confidentiality
When asked what Katie felt about her experience she said:
The purpose of the Awards is to celebrate excellence across the sector and pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work. Categories represented all areas of the sector, from frontline staff such as support workers and managers to people who have made an impact in other ways through training, breaking down barriers and best Autism practice.
A special congratulations goes to Tiago, Ben and Adam who won their categories;
The Great Autism Practice Award was awarded to Tiago Pinto who wowed the judges with his passion and excellent best practice.
The Positive Behaviour Support Award was presented to Ben Adkins and Adam Vincent, who won the judges over with passion, knowledge and dedication.
Tiago, Ben and Adam have made an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of people with Learning Disabilities and Autism. We thank you for your dedication and commitment. You are an inspiration to all.
The day was spent attending informative workshops and networking with professionals, families and autistic people. At the Show, you could choose from over 100 hours of talks, clinics and workshops plus hundreds of specialist products and services were on offer, which could make a difference to the lives of autistic people.
Tiago's talk is entitled - "Female autism - Understanding adult autistic females and providing best therapeutic support'' He will be presenting at Theatre 2 on Friday 23rd June at 10.20 - 10.40 am. Tiago is a Clinical Psychologist and Head of Therapies at Milton Park Therapeutic Campus.
To book tickets for the Autism Show Please Click Here.
The "A better understanding of females with Autism" event takes place at the Bridge Chapel Centre, Heath Road, Liverpool, L19 4XR on Thursday 30th March 2017.
For more information, please download the poster by clicking HERE.
This is a free event and places are limited. Please make sure that you take up a place booked, to be fair to those who will inevitibly be on the waiting list.
To book your place please contact email@example.com
Are you looking for a job that truly makes a difference? Then become a support worker at Milton Park Therapeutic Campus in Wyboston.
We will be holding a recruitment event on the 9th, 10th and 11th February at Cathedral Square. Why not register your interest and send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 124 0117.
All training is provided with an average starting rate of £8.79 per hour, plus a £200* welcome bonus.
We also offer these fantastic benefits:
- Competitive salary
- Free bus service from central Bedford
- Comprehensive induction
- Leading ongoing training
- Childcare vouchers
- Health scheme
- £200 Refer a friend scheme
- Cycle to work scheme
- Plus many more
For more information about Milton Park Therapeutic Campus please click here.
For more information about our other vacancies please take a look at www.brookdalecareers.co.uk, alternatively please contact us on 0300 124 0117.
The Autism Professionals Awards are organised by the National Autistic Society and seek to acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of professionals who are leading the way in innovative autism practice and making a real difference to the lives of autistic people in the UK.
Tiago has made an exceptional contribution to the lives of the people he supports with Autism. His drive to improve standards, train others and measure outcomes is testament to his dedication and strength of character. He always strives to make the quality of a person's life as good as it can be for them. He never stops thinking about his role and the people he supports. Tiago is an inspirational role model to all and we would like to wish him the very best of luck at the awards!
The Awards will be presented to the winners at a prestigious Awards Dinner held on the first night of the National Autistic Society’s Professional Conference in Harrogate International Centre, Royal Hall, Tuesday 7th March 2017.
Autism Awards Finalists 2017