Team around the family (TAF)

In partnership (Links) with children, parents/carers, shared placements and involved professionals

Positive interactions and responses

Children with autism are cared for by a range of people who meet regularly at ‘Team around the Family’ meetings. The goal is that all the professionals and the family of the child come together to discuss the childs needs, agree the help and support needed and identify a strategy for providing the support.

At TRACKS autism we endeavour to maintain effective communication before, during and after these meetings through:

  • written information (sharing IEP’s, Learning Journey’s, e-mails)
  • verbal communication (phone calls, face to face interactions)
  • formal meetings (pre-arranged)
  • informal meetings (availability to ‘chat’ each time a child attends)

We, along with all professionals working as part of a TAF, believe that families are the ‘experts’ for their child. It is the people who live with a child that know the child’s likes, dislikes, wants and needs. We actively encourage two-way information sharing: carers inform us daily about events that might affect how the child behaves on any particular day and we at TRACKS autism feedback to them about the child’s day, for instance about daily routines such as eating, sleeping and toileting.  We always share the ‘wow moments’, first with the child and then with families and also the ‘disasters’ that may have happened, so they are able to build up a balanced picture of their childs daily experience at TRACKS autism.

Active involvement in their own life

All professionals, including those at TRACKS autism, believe it is key that children receive positive encouragement to enable them to interact with others, to make choices and requests, and to develop purposeful play to enable effective learning. Children’s views are always listened and responded to, particularly when they are communicated through behaviour that challenges adults in how best to resolve the situation. It is key that consistent, positive approaches are formulated and used across all settings and at home.

We manage consistency of approach for every child through planned activities and structured methods to enable children to cope with everyday life. The child’s Initial Assessment and Individual Education Plan (IEP) together outline what is important to a child and what it is that people working with the child need to know. They identify strengths, interests, motivations and how autism affects them. Goals set relate to positive outcomes for the future.

If you have any questions about TAF meetings or how we work with families and professionals, please contact us by telephone, email or via the contact us form online.

References:

Understanding and supporting children and adults on the autism spectrum. Julie Beadle-Brown and Richard Mills. Pavilion Publishing and Media 2010

More Than Words, Fern Sussman, Hanen 1999