The Positive Behaviour Support Team first launched a practical training Programme, Positive Pathways, in 2012 for family carers funded through the Scottish Government’s Autism Development Fund.

Positive Pathways offered training, support and advice in Positive Behaviour Support to family carers of individuals with autism who have emotional and behavioural challenges. The five day training programme, one day per month, was held in 18 Local Authority areas across Scotland from September 2012 to February 2013.

The training took place in local workshops of small informal groups for families to share their experiences with other families. Until now this type of training has only been available to  professional care staff within the social care sector, and not to family carers.

Feedback from family carers who attended the training was very positive:

  • "The information provided was extremely useful; it has given me a better understanding of autism." (parent, Irvine workshop)
  • "I was impressed with the folder and layout, I felt good about coming and enjoyed meeting others and thought it was time well spent." (parent, Edinburgh workshop)
  • "Lots of information to help not only our son but the family, more in depth than I thought and will certainly put more ideas into practice." (parent, Paisley workshop)
  • "Loved every moment of it." (parent, Orkney workshop)

Positive Behaviour Support has been shown to be effective in addressing behaviour challenges in people with autism, for example:

  • Developing communication
  • Reducing challenging behaviour
  • Increasing self management techniques
  • Addressing specific problems (e.g. food refusal, sleep related issues etc)
  • Reducing stereotypical or repetitive behaviours

Family carers who attended Positive Pathways received:

  • Practical advice for day-to-day difficulties
  • Real life discussions, not just theory
  • Personalised solutions for their family situations
  • Access to behaviour specialists, ready to help

The evaluation of our successful training programme for carers of people with autism, Positive Pathways, has now been published and is available to download.

If you would like more information about Positive Pathways, please email Positive Pathways or contact the Positive Behaviour Support Team on 0845 013 6374.