I was listening to ‘You and Yours’ today on Radio 4 talking about the BBC drama ‘The A Word’ and a flyng the nestkey question was:

Should we help people with autism adapt to the world or should the world adapt to them?

It is of course not an either / or answer. The answer must be a bit of both, and most importantly with the individual being at the centre of how much they are supported to change and how much those around them change.

Whilst ‘The A Word’ is a drama, the issues it raises are ones that people with Autism and their families face every day and they do not stop when the person becomes an adult. Over the past few years Life Path Trust has supported one young man – Thomas (Tom) and his family. Tom is a young man with severe learning disabilities and autism who, at the age of 18, set up a home of his own flying the family nest.

An account of Tom’s move – ‘Flying the Nest’ has just been published by Life Path Trust and is available on our website at http://www.life-path.org.uk/page/our-reports. The report describes how with person centred planning and adapting to Tom’s needs, we have supported him create a home of his own. With support, Tom has also adapted to the world around him, going on holiday, looking after the rabbits next door and making friend with people who accept him for who he is.

The answer to the ‘You and Yours’ question is clearly a bit of both with support that is centred on the person.

Gary Bye
Chief Executive, Life Path Trust