This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 2.3. Give examples of how support can be provided in a way that is: compassionate, non-judgemental. (Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Autism, Using a person-centred approach to support individuals with autism)
NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.
On this page, we will look at a couple of examples of how support could be provided to autistic individuals in a way that is compassionate and non-judgmental.
Compassionate support example
Sarah is a 10-year-old autistic girl who experiences sensory sensitivities and has difficulty transitioning from one activity to another. Her caregiver wants to help her make a smooth transition from playtime to mealtime.
- Understanding Sarah’s Needs: The caregiver takes the time to understand Sarah’s sensory sensitivities and recognizes that abrupt transitions can be distressing for her.
- Preparation and Communication: Before mealtime, the caregiver approaches Sarah gently and uses a calm, reassuring tone of voice. They say, “Sarah, it’s almost time for lunch. We’ll need to clean up our toys now and get ready to eat.”
- Visual Support: Knowing that Sarah responds well to visual cues, the caregiver shows her a visual schedule or a picture depicting the steps involved in transitioning to mealtime. This visual aid helps Sarah understand what’s happening next.
- Respecting Sarah’s Pace: The caregiver allows Sarah some time to process the information and start cleaning up her toys. They don’t rush her or pressure her to finish quickly.
- Offering Assistance: The caregiver offers to help Sarah with cleaning up or suggests they do it together. This support reduces Sarah’s anxiety and makes the transition more manageable.
- Positive Reinforcement: Throughout the process, the caregiver provides positive reinforcement and encouragement. They say, “You’re doing a great job cleaning up, Sarah! We’ll have a yummy lunch together soon.”
- Sensory Considerations: Knowing that Sarah is sensitive to certain textures, the caregiver ensures that the lunch options are chosen with Sarah’s preferences in mind. They provide utensils and foods that Sarah is comfortable with.
- Predictable Routine: The caregiver maintains a consistent routine, so Sarah knows what to expect. This predictability helps reduce anxiety and provides a sense of security.
- Empathy and Patience: The caregiver remains patient and empathetic, understanding that transitions can be challenging for Sarah. They are ready to adapt their approach if Sarah needs more time or support.
- Engagement: During the meal, the caregiver engages in a conversation that aligns with Sarah’s interests, making the experience enjoyable and reinforcing positive associations with mealtime.
In this example, the caregiver demonstrates compassion by understanding Sarah’s unique needs, using effective communication strategies, respecting her pace, and offering support and encouragement. This compassionate approach helps Sarah navigate the transition from playtime to mealtime more comfortably and reduces potential stress or anxiety.
Non-judgmental support example
Alex is a 30-year-old autistic adult who experiences sensory sensitivities and has difficulty managing their daily routines, including meal preparation. They are receiving support from a caregiver.
- Respect for Autonomy without Judgment: The caregiver provides support while respecting Alex’s autonomy and choices. They acknowledge that Alex has their own way of doing things, and they refrain from imposing their own preferences or making critical comments.
- Non-Critical Observation: When observing Alex’s meal preparation techniques, the caregiver refrains from making judgmental or negative comments about the process, even if it differs from their own approach. Instead, they offer assistance and guidance without criticism.
- Empathetic Encouragement: The caregiver uses empathetic language to encourage Alex during meal preparation. They say things like, “I can see that you’re doing your best, Alex. It’s great that you’re taking the time to prepare your meal just the way you like it.”
- Understanding Sensory Sensitivities: Recognizing that Alex has sensory sensitivities, the caregiver avoids making judgments or comments about Alex’s reactions to sensory stimuli. They understand that sensory experiences can be overwhelming and offer support accordingly.
- Observation: Instead of rushing or showing impatience, the caregiver observes Alex’s pace with patience and understanding. They offer assistance when needed and wait for Alex to initiate or request support.
- Positive Feedback: When providing feedback or suggestions, the caregiver ensures that it is framed positively. They might say, “You’re making excellent progress with meal preparation, Alex. Is there anything specific you’d like help with?”
- Respecting Dietary Preferences: If Alex has specific dietary preferences or restrictions, the caregiver respects these without judgment, even if they differ from their own dietary choices.
- Collaborative Approach: The caregiver involves Alex in decision-making, allowing them to choose menu items and mealtime schedules. This approach ensures that meal preparation aligns with Alex’s preferences and needs.
In this example, the caregiver offers non-judgmental support during meal preparation by respecting Alex’s autonomy, sensory sensitivities, and pace. They refrain from making critical comments, provide encouragement, and involve Alex in decision-making, fostering a positive and supportive environment.