One of our young people,
Andrew, was suffering
from what appeared
to be severe migraines,
each lasting several days
and requiring medical
assistance, which led to
periods of withdrawal.
While migraines were the
suspicion (as Andrew has
a family history of migraines), the exact cause needed to be
confirmed to allow remedial action.
The data was able to confirm the suspicion and a fourweek cycle, leading to medication change.
As a result, incidents were halved leading to improved
wellbeing and access to education.
The importance of confirming the cause was huge,
as Ed Jennings, then House Manager of Todhunter
house, where Andrew lives, explains: "During times of
withdrawal Andrew would refuse to consume food so
was at risk of dehydration and weight loss, leaving him
"Since the medication we see greater prolonged
engagement, a steady consumption of food and a drastic
reduction in behaviours.
"This meant he could access a more fulfilling and engaging
life, in which he maintains his weight and periods of
withdrawal have reduced. This has also meant he can spend
more time accessing education."
Ed adds that, in the past, the Todhunter house team "would
see week-long build ups in Andrew's behaviour with the
pattern unclear. Before the introduction of Prior Insight, the
patterns were hard to trace and the behaviours not always
captured so when presented to professionals, the data was
"The week-long build up was then followed by a period of
withdrawal. With the data for this stored within paper form,
it was not always clear the two periods were linked.
"With the data collected and stored in one place in Prior
Insight you could run the data together."
A fundraising project for Prior Insight is ongoing.
To discuss how you could help, contact the
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What is Prior Insight?
Prior Insight is our digital platform
which gathers rich data about autism
as a condition.
Every day, our staff members log data,
via tablets, about the young person
they are working with - their food
intake, their activities, their behaviours
and more. On average, more than
10,000 data entries are made every
Before the introduction of Prior Insight
last year, such data was inputted via a
paper-based system which was timeconsuming and limited in terms
How Prior Insight is used
It is difficult for people with severe
autism to communicate how they are
feeling or what they are experiencing,
making it difficult to understand why
behaviours, incidents or health needs
We use the data on both a day-to-day
basis and on a 'big data', analytical
Live data collected by Prior Insight can
be accessed immediately by our staff
members, allowing them to respond
to the immediate needs of a young
The live data can be interpreted by staff
to get an understanding of how an
individual's day has gone so far - what
they have eaten and drank, how they
slept, what activities they have done.
As a result, staff members can get more of an idea of what the individual's
needs are likely to be at that time and
Big data usage
With the capacity to interpret large
amounts of data more efficiently and
effectively, highlighting correlations
and trends, Prior Insight helps us
to identify causes of behaviours and
then find ways to remedy these. It
brings together teams from across
Prior's Court to pool expertise and
experiences more effectively, for the
betterment of our young people's lives.
Both of these approaches are crucial
as they give our young people a voice.
This allows us to support them to meet
their needs and means they will have
more good days.
How Prior Insight helped one of our young people
cope with debilitating migraines