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“I can be proud of my son”

Mark* is in many ways like many other children of his age – enjoying swimming, playing on his X-Box and tablet, eating out at KFC and McDonalds.

But it was when Mark was very young that his dad, Tony, first noticed how he differed from his peers. He started crawling and walking much later than they did. His speech developed more slowly too.

Mark also had behavioural problems, explained at first as the ‘terrible twos’. Later, his behaviour would lead him to be expelled from four schools, with the blame often laid at his parenting. Tony says: “It would make me look like a bad parent, when I’m not a bad parent at all.”

It wasn’t until Mark was eight that he was diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It was this that helped explain the way Mark was – his anxiety near other people, his reactions to changes in routine, and his dislike of open spaces.

And it was this diagnosis that gave Tony access to support from social services and, in turn, from Affinity Trust.

Assessment

With funding from Bradford Council and the NHS, the charity had won a contract to run a Positive Behaviour Support service for children and young people with learning disabilities in Bradford.

Affinity Trust’s Matthew Hodder explains: “Positive Behaviour Support works by developing the skills of the person and those who support them, rather than by using aversive or restrictive interventions.”

Matthew carried out a detailed assessment of Mark, and his behaviour at home, at school and in his other environments. This led to a support plan that was agreed by all who worked with him, including his social worker and schoolteachers.

It also applies to Tony who says: “I follow the plan. I follow it by the book.” This means giving Mark more praise for good behaviour – and avoiding punishing his challenging behaviour. Tony explains: “It’s how you deal with situation. Be calm, give more praise.”

Affinity Trust keyworkers spent around 30 hours with Mark every week, including at weekends and in the community. They also modelled behaviour for Tony to adopt. Much of this’ time was spent observing Mark at the specialist school he now attends a few miles from home.

Confidence

Two years of intensive support later, Mark is now much calmer, and less anxious with people. At school, his writing, maths and English have improved, and he is learning to dance. He has become more interested in books, starting to use a local library, and often reads on the way to school.

Positive Behaviour Support has changed Tony too, as he has learned how to deal with Mark’s autism and ADHD. He says: “It’s given me a better understanding of the behaviours and the condition.

“Now, since I got this support in, I’ve got more confidence. I can be proud of my son and I can’t be a failure, because look what I’ve done. I have learned a lot.”

As a result, while Mark’s progress is still being monitored by Affinity Trust, he no longer needs intensive Positive Behaviour Support.


*To protect his identity, we have not used Mark’s real name

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Head Office

Head Office
1 St. Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3WT View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267049 E: info@affinitytrust.org

Central England

Central - Divisional Office
109 Boston Road, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, LE4 1AW View Map
T: 0116 236 3793 F: 0345 643 7094 E: info@affinitytrust.org

East England

East - Divisional Office
U18, South Fens Business Centre, Fenton Way, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire PE16 6TT View Map
T: 01354 696009 F: 08456 437521 E: infoeast@affinitytrust.org
Suffolk Office
Office 3, Wharfside House, Prentice Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1RD View Map
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T: 01603 400321 F: 01603 400771 E: infoeast@affinitytrust.org

Midlands

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Wood Lane Community Centre, 157 Wood Lane, West Bromwich, B70 9PT View Map
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T: 0114 276 4980 E: infonorth@affinitytrust.org
Shipley Office
Unit 9 Parkview Court, St Paul's Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3DX View Map
T: 01274 533553 E: infonorth@affinitytrust.org

Positive Behaviour Support for children, young people and their families

Positive Behaviour Support
1 St. Andrew's Court Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WT View Map
T: 07341 478228 E: paultaylor@affinitytrust.org

Scotland

Scotland - Divisional Office
62 Viewfield Road, Ayr KA8 8HH View Map
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Bon Accord House, Riverside Drive, Aberdeen AB11 7SL View Map
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T: 01294 446600 E: infoscotland@affinitytrust.org

South England

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Suites 53-55, Aldershot Enterprise Centre, Mandora House, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2PW View Map
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Office 4, Hampden House, Monument Park, Chalgrove, Oxfordshire OX44 7RW View Map
T: 01865 893269 E: infosouth@affinitytrust.org
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Mendip Court, Bath Road, Wells, Somerset BA5 3DG View Map
T: 01749 605594 E: infosouth@affinitytrust.org

South East England

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Suite 2+3, Henwood Pavilion, Henwood, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8DH View Map
T: 01233 665324 E: infosoutheast@affinitytrust.org
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Units 31-32, Castleham Business Centre East, Stirling Road, St Leonards On Sea, East Sussex, TN38 9NP View Map
T: 01424 853390 F: 0845 643 7300 E: infosoutheast@affinitytrust.org

Specialist Support

Specialist Support
Head Office, 1 St Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267049 E: info@affinitytrust.org
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