Many families who live with and support a loved-one who has additional needs such as a diagnosis of autism spectrum difference (ASD), attentional deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), trauma, attachment disorder, acquired brain injury (ABI) or intellectual disability can experience difficulty understanding, managing, or changing their more complex challenges and behaviours. They have tried their utmost to help their child, teenage or adult family member in the best way they know how, yet they still face daily challenges at home, at school or college, in a day service, and out in the community.
Most families' first contact with their loved-one’s additional support needs comes as a result of their family member receiving a diagnosis. The diagnosis can come as a shock for many families – the first official recognition that their child or young adult is developing differently from other children. To others it is a final explanation of why the person experiences such a difficult time fitting in at home, school, or college, or struggles to make friends.
Post-diagnosis, differing amounts of support may be offered to families. In far too many cases, however, parents go away with very little practical help, information, or guidance. They are left with a very confused and bewildering sense of what the diagnosis means, and many families are at a loss to know what they should do next. Studio 3 has developed a range of courses designed to meet the training needs of individual families and family groups supported by organisations, and people who have themselves received a diagnosis of autism spectrum difference (ASD).
Every person is a unique individual. To quote Stephen Shore “When you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” The same principle applies to other developmental conditions. Every person has their own distinctive set of challenges and vulnerabilities; but equally, every person has their own unique set of talents and positive traits.
‘I look forward to my sessions with my Studio 3 family support. Being able to be open and honest about difficult situations and feelings. Finally, someone who understands.’
Family Training in Low Arousal Approaches
It can be very demanding to support a family member unless you understand their core issues. While there are some similarities with other people with a similar diagnosis, even within those similarities there are differences. This is why Studio 3 have developed a Family Support Programme which endeavours to meet the individual needs of each family, and coaches them to develop a skill set to support their family member, in a practical and non-confrontational way.
All Studio 3 Family Training courses are based on the principles of the Low Arousal philosophy of managing distressed behaviours, firstly by preventing situations escalating to crisis levels in the first place, and by developing an understanding of why the behaviour occurs. Part of the solution for many people is focusing on and improving their living, school, and working environments, to make those environments less demanding on the individual.
Our family training takes place over a number of sessions, exploring the complexity of the person, and needs of the family. We offer additional supports to families in the form of follow-up coaching once your family training has been completed.
Training Packages Available
1) Training for Families: Applying Low Arousal in Family Settings
This programme aims to focus on Low Arousal Approaches and their application within families. Studio 3 tailor family support and family training to a family’s specific circumstances. An essential part of our family training involves learning the Low Arousal Approach for managing behaviours of concern. Additionally, we focus on your family’s individual issues and challenges, and guide you through the LA philosophy as you apply theory to practice. As part of family training, we will investigate your loved-one’s distinctive stress and sensory profile, and provide you with the skills to recognise points of difficulty, and what you can do to de-escalate situations before it reaches crisis point.
Part of Studio 3’s family training also involves looking at the impact of caring for a family member has on the entire family, and what individual family members can do to ensure their own wellbeing. This will include investigating the unique challenges and vulnerabilities that the person has, exploring the impact of environmental challenges, identifying the interests, pastimes and hobbies that the person enjoys, and applying the tenants of the PERMA model to improve quality of life and wellbeing not just for the family member, but for the entire family.
Learning Outcomes: Participants are expected to:
Learn the principles of the Low Arousal Approach and be able to apply these to practical situations
Gain a better understanding of the needs and vulnerabilities of the family member that they are supporting
Gain an understanding of how how stress, anxiety and sensory demands of the environment (and the people in it) are at the core of many behaviours of concern
Learn that inadvertently we (parents, carers, staff, teachers) can trigger or escalate situations
Understand that the relationship is the therapy.
Duration: A minimum of 6x 2-hour sessions. Most of these will be delivered online but they can also be done face to face.
Consultation: Normally there is a short consultation session with a member of our team which runs for around 30mins - 1 hour.
Average hourly rate: £90 + VAT
How to enquire: To discuss family training in Low Arousal Approaches, contact our office at email@example.com or call 01225 334 111.
Additional Clinical Support: We also offer individual support from our clinical team for individuals - see our counselling pages.
‘We have two children who are autistic - a daughter aged 8 and a son aged 10. They are very different even though both are autistic. We really struggled to understand some of the things they did, and we were often at a loss to know what to do. Our family training from Studio 3 helped us to identify their very different sensory needs, and more importantly, gave us hints and tips that made a real difference. They are getting on much better now at school and at home, life is a lot calmer.’
2) Training for Organisations: Working with Families Collaboratively
This is a 1 Day Workshop, entitled ‘Not Them, Us’ - Working with Families Collaboratively. It is often the case that relationships break down between services and families. We are able to work with individuals and families to liaise with organisations and break down barriers to care. Many organisations and schools recognise that applying Low Arousal knowledge across all areas of a person’s life has great benefits, not just at organisational level, but for the person with additional needs and their family too. Increasingly, including families in Low Arousal training is becoming the norm in order to holistically apply the approach in all areas of the person’s life.
Learning Outcomes: Participants are expected to:
Understand the Low Arousal Approach
Demonstrate how families can implement the Low Arousal Approach in practice at home
Be able to build a holistic support system around individuals
Understand the importance of having a common approach to supporting individuals by collaborating with families and other supporters
Duration: 1 day session
Group numbers: 8 - 12 staff members
Cost: £700 per day + VAT
How to enquire: To discuss family training for your organisation, contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01225 334 111.
‘As an organisation, we support adults with autism, ADHD and learning differences from 18 years upwards. Our staff have been trained in the Low Arousal Approach, and it has been the training system used in our organisation for over 25 years.
It can be confusing for the person who attends our service, if there is one approach used in their day or residential service and another approach used by the family at home. As a staff team, we can really see the benefits of Studio 3’s workshops for families, as it helps us all to get ‘on the same page.'
Follow-Up Coaching: Applying Theory to Practice
Once families have completed their Low Arousal Family training, Studio 3 can provide follow-up coaching and support as the theory of Low Arousal is put into practice within the family home. This support is delivered through Zoom. Families can discuss how their family is adjusting to the new way of supporting their loved-one and can benefit from getting professional advice on any challenges or adjustments that they are experiencing.
Practical and emotional support is offered in blocks of 6 sessions of one hour each in duration. Cost is determined on an individualised basis.
'Myself and my partner completed the Low Arousal family training, which we really enjoyed. We are really good at being Low Arousal when our ten year old son Alfie, is in good form and all is going well. However, sometimes we struggle with some of his behaviours and wonder if we are doing the right thing. It would be great if we could talk it through with someone who has more experience, just to make sure we are doing the right thing.'