Autism Daily Living Support
SASI provides Active Choices (previously known as Day Services) for 120 adults (18 years and over) in Seaford, Frankston, Croydon and Gippsland.
Clients usually attend a special development school before transitioning to SASI Active Choices. They may live at home in a family environment or in one of SASI’s group accommodation homes. They may also come from care within another accommodation service.
SASI’s programs run from Monday to Friday. Each program is diverse offering community and in-house activities aimed at building a client’s skills and confidence.
Clients often think of day service like “going to work.”
However, the programs focus on developing skills in:
- Social interaction
- Independent living
Each client undergoes an assessment to determine their goals. Clients then receive a program (PCP) delivering steps for realising these goals, which also make the journey enjoyable.
Clients then build capacity through SASI’s collective planning process. The focus is on the individual’s gifts, talents and skills rather than their misgivings. Clients receive more opportunities to engage in community activities to gain an overall sense of belonging.
A Person Centred Plan is about:
- Who the person is
- Who is in their life
- What can be done collectively (E.g. parents and carers)
- Achieving a better life for the person now
- Mapping out a better future
- Achieving personal goals
- Providing structure and routine to reduce stress
- Defining what to expect
How this is achieved
Each client receives a personalised weekly timetable, which provides different activities each day. These are undertaken in small groups of between five and ten people based on their Person Centred Plan.
SASI’s activity programs vary between sites. Each is determined by the needs and abilities of the client. All programs are designed to help clients develop similar skills.
Activities can include:
- Meals on wheels
- Domestic maintenance
- Lawn mowing
- Community kitchen
- Health and fitness at the gym
- Computers and literacy
- Movie club
Additional wellbeing programs are also on offer. These include sensory rooms, yoga and relaxation.
Many of our clients’ behavioural issues stem from frustration. They are often not able to communicate their wants and needs. SASI’s specialist communication officer works with clients to find appropriate and effective communication aids.
Here are some examples:
- A speech pathologist may be used to build a child’s speaking ability
- Visual clients may be given their daily timetable in diagram format
- Flash cards might help a client remember how to make a cup of coffee
- iPads can be used as a tool to develop communication skills
- Drama and music programs can build confidence through role playing
- Excursions help clients interact with members of the public who are outside of their circle
At some sites SASI clients are responsible for Meals on Wheels delivery routes each week. Beachlynn was recently awarded a 15-year certificate for services to the City of Frankston for delivering this win-win outcome. Clients develop important skills in dealing with different situations and can contribute to the community.
Art and music also prove popular because they give clients creative self-expression.
Parents and carers receive daily feedback via a communication book. The entries build trust and rapport between SASI staff, parents and carers. For those who struggle with communication, notes in the communication book help parents and carers start a meaningful conversation about the day’s activities.
SASI Active Choices operate from Monday to Friday 46 weeks of the year. Outside of this time clients enjoy SASI’s recreation programs. In some cases, parents will access respite.
Here are some examples:
Mel – Loves music
“I love the music program because it’s awesome. I get to dance, sing and move to songs.”
Chance – Into IT and likes working on computers
“I love using Google to search my favourite celebrities, trains and old cars.”
Malcolm – Enjoys the sensory cooking program
“I help to make afternoon tea for the group and choose the recipes we cook.”