AfA West Midlands Outreach Surgery
Many people are affected by the autism spectrum. Our outreach surgery will enable more people to access one-to-one, bespoke counselling for lives adversely affected by the autism spectrum, with a counsellor who has qualifications in autism and/or strong experience of autism spectrum conditions.
Ongoing - for as long as clients need support
Charity information: Action For Asperger's
People on the autism spectrum are in the minority – making up about 1% of the worlds population. Therefore they are often marginalised by society and the challenges the modern world presents. Many autistic children report being bullied at school and approximately one third of autistic adults have severe mental health difficulties. An autism diagnosis affects the whole family. It can be an emotional, financial and physical strain, causing stress and worry, again affecting mental health.
The outreach surgery will provide bespoke counselling and emotional support for both people with an autism spectrum condition, and those in a close relationship with someone on the autism spectrum, with a highly qualified and/or experienced counsellor. There are people all over the UK who are affected by the autism spectrum, and this outreach surgery will enable us reach out to more people who need help and support, but are too far away to get to the main office, through ‘us going to them’.
To promote improved mental health in people whose lives have become adversely affected by autism
Activities» A counselling and emotional support service for any child/adolescent/adult who has Asperger’s Syndrome.
» Counselling neurotypical persons whose lives are in distress as a consequence of their experience with their autistic close other.
» Non-clinical, academic assessments for autism spectrum conditions
What success will look like
Success will be seen in the numbers of clients accessing the service and improvement in mental health as seen by the counsellor and felt by the client.
Mental health will improve for many as clients feel understood on many different levels. Autistic people will be able to understand themselves and learn skill and strategies to help them cope in an often alien world, and their respective close others will be supported and guided by strategies that help them to be more confident in their ability to be a good parent/spouse/sibling etc. This will be demonstrated in client progress with the counsellor, and shown through client satisfaction surveys.
There is a risk that the counsellor could get ill or 'burn out'. We have dealt with this by having more than one counsellor on the team so that if the main counsellor for the outreach surgery becomes ill, another of our counsellors can step in. Also, all our counsellors have had their own counselling as part of their training, and they are all closely supervised to ensure things run smoothly.
Donors to this project will receive a updates - as and when necessary - on the project detailing the ongoing and forthcoming activities and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans.
Budget - Project Cost: £16,320Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £12,960 Counsellor labour costs 6 hours of counsellor labour per day, for 1 day a week x 48 weeks of a year £3,360 Additional costs Travel and sustinence at approximately £70 per day, 1 day a week x 48 weeks
The West Midlands is a large area, but one which is more socially deprived than the neighbouring East Midlands. Whilst there are support groups and the like available in this area, there is a lack of counselling support for people affected by the autism spectrum.
Anyone who is affected in some way by autism will benefit from our project. People who are on the spectrum and their close friends and families will be able to go somewhere where they can talk, feel understood, and learn about themselves and their close others.
What we do is completely bespoke to our client group. AfA is totally unique in that it offers counselling that truly takes into account not only the autistic neurology, but also considers how close family members are affected by autism also. AfA does not make autistic thinkers fit ‘round peg-square hole’ into counselling modalities that have been configured with typical neurologies in mind. AfA’s counselling model has been geared accordingly.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Vicky is currently the lead counsellor for the project