Studio 3 Germany
AUTEA - German Institute for Autism
AUTEA is a non-profit, internationally networked educational institute which contributes to the professionalisation of care work, thus increasing the quality of life and improving the participation opportunities for people with autism through a high-quality support and qualification program.
The TEACCH approach and Studio 3 in Germany
The TEACCH approach and now also the Studio 3 program are important, nationally and internationally highly recognised specialist concepts, which were developed especially for working with people with autism, and have proven themselves in practice. The AUTEA company has set itself the goal of spreading both concepts in German-speaking countries and helping to improve the living conditions of people with autism - in their own home, at home with their parents, in housing, at school, at work and at leisure.
The confrontation with challenging behaviours is one of the most difficult situations in the care of people with autism and / or mental disability. Outrageous and self-injurious behaviours, as well as behaviours challenged by the duration, intensity or context in which it takes place, sometimes determine the day-to-day work of assisting people with autism and / or mental disability.
Fear, helplessness and "counter violence" can be the reactions of employees if they have no expertise in dealing with challenging behaviour. The result is often that the existing tension is increased and thereby further incidents arise.
AUTEA and Studio III
The AUTEA group has been dealing with the subject of "Challenging Behaviour" for many years and came across Studio 3 in the context of international cooperation, which can meaningfully supplement their work according to the TEACCH approach. In particular, attitude and philosophy - as well as an appreciative understanding of the difficulties and the behaviours of autistic people - were important criteria for the decision to teach such a training concept. Studio 3 has developed a training concept which has been offered for some years now by trained Studio 3 trainers among the speakers of AUTEA in Germany as well.
AUTEA on the Low Arousal Approach
With the Low Arousal Approach, Studio 3 tries to break the circle of challenging behaviour by clients on the one hand, and fear and helplessness of employees on the other hand. The goal is to achieve de-escalation and stress reduction and, if possible, to prevent an increase in the level of arousal in advance. Tense situations should be defused without going into a power struggle or violating the dignity of the disabled person. Expanding employees' knowledge of the causes and functions of challenging behaviour, reflecting on different aspects of the role of employees, and communicating principles of proactive strategies and empowerment during the crisis are important goals of the training.
The Studio 3 training is based on a non-aversive approach and was developed on the basis of applied research. Challenging behaviour is met in a gentle and respectful way. This is particularly important as building and nurturing a positive relationship between clients and employees in the social field is the foundation of supportive, constructive and appreciative collaboration. A key aspect of the underlying philosophy is the belief that employees must first be able to handle behaviour that is experienced as difficult, and to make situations safer. The basic idea of the Studio III training is to convey an approach to person-centred handling of crisis situations.
Important elements of this approach are:
1) Reflection on one's own way of working and one's own behaviour
A better understanding of challenging behaviours and recognising where employees may themselves be part of the problem can also lead them to have more opportunities to see how they can become part of the solution.
2) Reduction of requirements in crisis situations
The low-arousal approach - an approach that seeks to achieve a low level of arousal - also involves reducing the short-term requirements that people with autism and / or mental disability are often exposed to. This reduction can help defuse stressful situations.
3) Exclusion of particularly restrictive techniques
Studio 3 aims to use the least restrictive physical techniques to deal with challenging behaviour. This includes the definitive exclusion of certain physical techniques. The principles of security for clients and employees, efficiency and social acceptance reflect the fundamentals of the Low Arousal approach.
4) Research on clients' views on techniques and dealing with challenging behaviour
Studio 3 has explored and included client perspectives in developing physical techniques for dealing with challenging behaviours in applied research (Cunningham, McDonnell, Sturmey & Easton, 2002).
5) Organisational approach
The implementation of the contents of the Studio 3 training course often involves the implementation of the basic attitude and philosophy in entire organisations, which is reflected, for example, in guidelines for dealing with challenging behaviour.