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      Staff awareness training: improving knowledge and confidence of autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities in a locked rehabilitation unit

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          The purpose of this paper is to present a training package which was delivered to improve staff members’ knowledge and confidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID).


          The training was facilitated in a locked rehabilitation unit for adult males, many of whom had diagnoses of ASD and/or ID. With all staff receiving an invite, 25 attended which was the majority of the staff team. This included staff from housekeeping, nursing and catering.


          To evaluate the effectiveness of the training, a survey and short assessment was administered before and after training. This revealed an improvement in both perceived knowledge and confidence of ASD and ID, as well as actual knowledge. Follow-up interviews also revealed some evidence of sustained learning and practice changes.

          Research limitations/implications

          Based on these findings, it is recommended that further face-to-face training is delivered at this locked rehabilitation unit to further improve professional practice.


          This paper provides value to other inpatient settings as it highlights to practitioners how face-to-face training can significantly improve staff members knowledge and confidence of developmental disorders.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Disentangling the heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder through genetic findings.

          Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a heterogeneous group of disorders, which presents a substantial challenge to diagnosis and treatment. Over the past decade, considerable progress has been made in the identification of genetic risk factors for ASD that define specific mechanisms and pathways underlying the associated behavioural deficits. In this Review, we discuss how some of the latest advances in the genetics of ASD have facilitated parsing of the phenotypic heterogeneity of this disorder. We argue that only through such advances will we begin to define endophenotypes that can benefit from targeted, hypothesis-driven treatments. We review the latest technologies used to identify and characterize the genetics underlying ASD and then consider three themes-single-gene disorders, the gender bias in ASD, and the genetics of neurological comorbidities-that highlight ways in which we can use genetics to define the many phenotypes within the autism spectrum. We also present current clinical guidelines for genetic testing in ASD and their implications for prognosis and treatment.
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            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Gene hunting in autism spectrum disorder: on the path to precision medicine.

            Autism spectrum disorder is typical of the majority of neuropsychiatric syndromes in that it is defined by signs and symptoms, rather than by aetiology. Not surprisingly, the causes of this complex human condition are manifold and include a substantial genetic component. Recent developments in gene-hunting technologies and methods, and the resulting plethora of genetic findings, promise to open new avenues to understanding of disease pathophysiology and to contribute to improved clinical management. Despite remarkable genetic heterogeneity, evidence is emerging for converging pathophysiology in autism spectrum disorder, but how this notion of convergent pathways will translate into therapeutics remains to be established. Leveraging genetic findings through advances in model systems and integrative genomic approaches could lead to the development of new classes of therapies and a personalised approach to treatment.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

              Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by patterns of delay and deviance in the development of social, communicative, and cognitive skills that arise in the first years of life. Although frequently associated with intellectual disability, this condition is distinctive in its course, impact, and treatment. Autism spectrum disorder has a wide range of syndrome expression and its management presents particular challenges for clinicians. Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder can present for clinical care at any point in development. The multiple developmental and behavioral problems associated with this condition necessitate multidisciplinary care, coordination of services, and advocacy for individuals and their families. Early, sustained intervention and the use of multiple treatment modalities are indicated.

                Author and article information

                Advances in Autism
                Emerald Publishing
                24 August 2018
                16 October 2018
                : 4
                : 3
                : 95-108
                Priory Group, Worcestershire, UK
                Author notes
                Victoria Anne Hatton can be contacted at: victoriaannehatton@outlook.com
                615924 AIA-04-2018-0012.pdf AIA-04-2018-0012
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 29, Pages: 14, Words: 6334
                research-article, Research paper
                Custom metadata


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