Assistant Psychologist Joins Shropshire Care Company For Adults With Autism

A Shropshire care company specialising in adults with Autism may have become one of the first in the county to appoint its own psychologist.

Priya Mishra has joined Adelphi Care Services as an assistant psychologist, using her expertise to advise staff on specialist behaviour management plans for those using its services

The company, based at Longbow Close in Harlescott, Shrewsbury, runs and range of services in Shrewsbury and Wem for adults on the autistic spectrum.

Joe Kwaterski, business manager at Adelphi Care Services, said he had already seen the difference having Miss Mishra, who has a BSc (Hons) degree in Human Psychology from Aston University,  on board has made.

“At the moment I think we may be the only care company in the county to have their own assistant psychologist but it has already had a really positive impact on the already high standards of care we give to our service users,” he said.

“By gathering and analysing all the data for each of our clients, Priya is able to develop specialist behaviour management strategies for each one. She is already proving to be a fantastic asset to the Adelphi team.”

During her placement year, Miss Mishra worked for the Community Learning Disability Team For Children and Adolescents and, prior to joining Adelphi, worked as a research assistant in her field at both her former university and at the University Of Birmingham.

“I have always had a keen interest in working within the field of learning disabilities and since graduating have worked with children, young and older adults with a variety of diagnoses, syndromes and physical and learning disabilities,” she said.

“I am delighted to have joined Adelphi Care Services and it is very rewarding to see the positive results of the work I am doing.”

An example of a service user that Miss Mishra’s input has helped includes a young man with autism who would display challenging behaviour when anxieties had built up due to not verbally communicating to staff his concerns or worries with a particular situation

“He struggled to express his thoughts and emotions verbally and would express instead express negative emotions such as anger or frustration, predominantly through challenging behaviour, to avoid having to do something he either found difficult or considered that he did not have time to complete,” she said.

“Once I became involved, it became apparent that he had never before verbally communicated to staff to remove him from a situation he was struggling with. Once the reasons for his behaviour became apparent, we introduced a social story aimed at encouraging him to verbally inform staff when he was having difficulties dealing with something. Social stories present information in a literal concrete way which may improve a person with autism’s understanding of a previously difficult or ambiguous situation or activity.

“Since then, he has come on in leaps and bounds with his communication, with any instances of him asking for help from staff when he is anxious or distressed being recorded in his learning log.”

Miss Mishra also introduced a diary for another client to provide him with an outlet to explain what had triggered ‘incidents’ after the event and once he had calmed down. This helped staff understand how he was feeling at the time and afterwards.

“He has progressed wonderfully and it has been great hearing staff being so positive about him and his achievements,” added Miss Mishra.

For more information about Adelphi Care Services visit www.adelphicareservices.co.uk, call (01743) 465299 or email [email protected]. You can also follow on its new Twitter account @adelphicare.

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