We are committed to empowering the families and carers of children with autism to optimise their life prospects.
A fundamental part of our approach to this is through spreading awareness and provision of Early Intervention in their lives. From the identification of the earliest signs of autism in babies of just a few months, through to effective treatments that can revolutionise their future lives.
In parallel to this, we will begin to establish comprehensive and meaningful support for parents with autistic children of all ages through a unique online "Hub" of resources and community.
We aim to revolutionise public and professional understanding of autism globally and to empower people with autism to be recognised for and to live to their true and full potential; through the following goals:
- To promote awareness of the phenomenal power of Early Intervention in autism, and to provide the means and the proof of this through a Transforming Autism Mifne clinic in the South East of England;
- To provide, through a distinctive online portal, inspiration and practical support for families, schools and others to achieve a transformation in their children's quality of life through the creation of an optimal environment and relationship with them.
Ultimately, we would like to see a world where all people are valued and treated according to their inner essential humanity rather than according to the many labels that each of us could wear (or that could be attached to us).
Our specific work is to bring the dream of such a world much closer for people with autism than it currently is.
We are a strongly values-driven organisation, and are committed to manifesting our values in how we relate to each other, in what we are trying to achieve and in how we do it. Our values come under 3 core headings:
- Kindness - Active and constant interest in each other’s welfare and how best to promote it. Unquestioning acceptance of the inherent and equal value of each individual, regardless of their attributes and character.
- Trust-based Collaboration - True sense of team unity in all actions. Openness in our activities, intentions and feelings. Keen mutual empowerment. Having the courage to keep trusting others and to honour the trust placed in us. Being consistently true to our word.
- Responsivity - Constant alertness and responsiveness to others’ needs while anticipating and being open about our own needs, treating both as equally important. Being open, constructive and considerate about any difficulties or issues, never putting on a front.
- Pioneering Big Thinking - Thinking outside traditional constraints to realise a belief in what is possible (and beyond). Questioning all established assumptions and not be afraid to modify, or build from scratch in order to ensure distinctiveness in all ways for our charity. Constant openness to use unconventional routes if beneficial, irrespective of traditional ways of doing things.
- Ambition - Uncompromising aspiration for what we can achieve. A focus on excellence in all actions and on the abundant possibilities that are there for us to open up - rather than on any limitations or apparent scarcity - to allow full potential to be revealed and keenly pursued.
- Perspectives, Not Positions – Approaching issues and decisions not with fixed opinions that we then need to defend, but rather with a perspective on what seems to make sense, which can enrich and be enriched by others’ perspectives.
- Positive Approach - A firm focus on what we can achieve, not what we can’t – and on finding ways to get there as effectively as possible, overcoming any obstacles in the way. A consistent connection with the underlying purpose of all our activities.
- Ownership - Firmly owning each activity we are engaged in, and determinedly seeing it through to the end, keeping others informed and carrying them with us. Seeing the charity as ours, and feeling a wish to contribute in a variety of ways.
- Continuous Learning & Improvement - Actively seeking and implementing the lessons in all our daily activities and experiences, in the enthusiastic pursuit of excellence in all areas.
Things you will never hear us say:
"You should have...."
We are in this together. If there are opportunities to help others learn from something that has happened, we can help and support them to do so rather than laying blame at their door for anything that has gone wrong.
(unless it is in the very constructive context of providing a positive alternative)
"That's not my problem."
Again, we are a team. If my colleague has any sort of problem, by definition, it is my problem too.
Our Employment Values:
Our aim is to take the principles of containment as used to support autistic children and use it to nurture all those who work with us.
We will aim to create an inclusive and collaborative culture for all those who are recruited as employees, where people's contributions are always valued and built upon. The well-being of our staff will be paramount to us. We will aim to ensure that all those who work with us resonate strongly with our values above, and are committed to creating and maintaining such a culture.
Our employment approach will be based on trust and empowerment, and an assumption that those who have been drawn to want to work with us will be passionate about our cause and therefore achieve what they need to achieve in their own way, and in their own time, without necessarily being tied to a desk for fixed hours. To that end, we will aim for autonomy, with opportunities for flexible hours and remote working wherever that is possible and practical.
We want the experience of working with Transforming Autism to be as rewarding and as special as possible, financially as well as in terms of working conditions.
It is not primarily out of concern for the wellbeing of employees that many large private companies offer higher salaries, flexible working, a high degree of autonomy over how working goals are achieved, as well as various other "perks". It is because of the established benefits in productivity that the resultant employee satisfaction is demonstrated to bring. For us, the wellbeing of our employees is a primary concern, but the increased productivity is an important factor too.
It is a financial expense that most charities would consider irresponsible, believing that donors' valuable contributions should go directly to frontline services. Unfortunately, this can lead to an undervaluing of people, which can lead to those people undervaluing themselves leading to their becoming over-worked and feeling unappreciated and run-down, thereby gradually undermining the effectiveness of the money spent on them. This is a cycle that we are keen to avoid at Transforming Autism.
And if the wellbeing of our people can go hand in hand with the success of our charity, then everybody wins, and our donors' generosity ultimately goes that bit further.
We are committed to revolutionising public and professional understanding of autism globally, and to ensuring that autistic people are recognised for their great potential to live rich, fulfilling integrated lives that contribute greatly to society, and that they are empowered to do so, especially through early intervention. We also aim to provide inspiration and practical support for families, schools and others to achieve a transformation in their children's quality of life through the creation of an optimal environment and relationship with them.
We often hear autism being defined by the behaviours that can be observed in autistic people. For example, "it's a condition where people have difficulty understanding social dynamics", or "it's a condition where people are sensitive to light or sound."
Actually, these sorts of things are only the most superficial manifestations of autism, and autism itself is simply a condition of profound sensitivity: sensitivity to sensory stimulation and sensitivity to strong emotions.
This sensitivity arises not only from an acute ability to perceive sensory information, but also from an open heart and from a tender idealism that the only thing that makes sense in this world is for everybody to care about and ensure the well being of everybody else.
This means that autistic people have the potential to give so much and make an amazing contribution to the world.
But when they are subjected to constant sensory stimulation and relentless emotional negativity – sometimes even cruelty – all around them, it affects them in an unimaginably profound way. It is so painful that the only way they can deal with it is to put distance between themselves and their surroundings; to suppress that innate urge they have to interact with and bring great positivity to all around them.
When we can see beyond the superficial “behaviours” and observe and respect the true nature of the individual beneath, we can not only transform the life of that person, but also benefit from the huge potential they bring to improve this world.
And this, in essence, is the reason for the Transforming Autism Project: to raise awareness of the true nature of the autistic condition and to ensure autistic people are treated accordingly. We want to assist in the creation of an optimal environment around them so that the astonishing best within them can be evoked for us all to benefit from.
And we know that this can be best achieved by starting when the child is as young as possible, hence our focus on Early Intervention.
The book, Transforming Autism, is the very first step in this project. Written in early 2016, it uses one family’s journey to highlight not only the path taken to improve their autistic boy’s life, but also the true underlying nature of that autistic child. Through the story it tells, it presents real useful examples of ways that children with autism can be helped at home simply and without expense.
We have a number of projects lined up that we will be announcing much more information about during 2017, including:
- The opening of our first specialist Early Intervention clinic in the South East of England
- A global campaign on the importance of Early Intervention, to the extent that public policy on autism is overhauled.
- A comprehensive one-stop online Portal providing high-quality support for all areas that parents or carers may be in need
- Our own visual materials to best support autistic children with daily activities
Click here for details about how you can be involved in this valuable project.