Applying findings of our research
Strides made within our Research Programme
are being used on-site to enhance the lives of
our young people.
Research conducted at Prior's Court on the use of a 'Talking
Wall' to help our young people express their opinions
and feelings was published in the Journal of Autism and
Development Disorders in April.
The research, conducted by one of our Education Autism
Practitioners Norah Richards alongside Laura Crane of the
Centre for Research in Autism and Education, concluded the
approach merits further development and evaluation.
An area of development noted was more day-to-day
modelling, by staff members, of emotions for our young
people as activities occur and talking about emotions
To support this our Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT)
department has been exploring the use of an approach called
Aided Language Stimulation with the use of core vocabulary
Core vocabulary such as "stop", "go", "more", "finished",
"help", etc make up around 80% of the words we use when
communicating with one another so are vital for our young
people to know how to use appropriately.
After a year of trials in which preliminary findings showed a
positive impact, the approach is being implemented across
Faye Lowe, one of our Speech and Language Therapists
who has been trialling the approach, said: "Once Autism
Practitioners, Teachers, Home Manages, etc are trained in
Aided Language Stimulation this will enable them to model
language throughout the young person's day using visuals,
including emotion and the young person's voice vocabulary.
This should then support the work with the Talking Wall, as
staff will hopefully be more accustomed to modelling these
Meanwhile, a Talking Wall is being used in one of our Young
Adult Provision homes (pictured).
Home Manager Clare Maxwell said; "The Talking Wall is a
great visual way to ask the young people about how they are
feeling and to celebrate with them.
"It is also useful to be able to role model emotions for those
young people who are just learning about emotions. For
example if a young person hasn't enjoyed a session we can
help guide them and explain "I think you didn't like that
session, I can see you looked worried" and then we will put
the picture or photos in the "don't like" pocket.
"Often our young people can struggle to label their emotions
or might get into a routine of saying that they are fine/
happy when actually they feel worried or sad, so this is a
good visual way to talk about emotions."
The first ever cohort of
the Prior's Court Graduate
Programme have begun their
18-month placements with us.
The 12 graduates began working
with us in August and September,
with currently half in our Residential
function and half in Education.
As well as rotating to experience life
in departments across Prior's Court,
during their 18-months with us,
the graduates will also complete a
supplementary project which must
be on a subject which will enhance
the lives of our young people and the
provision provided at Prior's Court.
The aim is the cohort will continue
their career with us in our Residential
department at the end of the
Cohort of graduates start life with us
Recruitment of our 2021/22 batch
of graduates to the programme will
begin shortly. For more information,
go to prioscourt.org.uk.