Autism Accreditation is an internationally-recognised quality standard provided by The National Autistic Society (NAS), the UK’s leading charity for people affected by autism.
When parents or guardians receive support from an accredited service such as Inspire, they can be confident that it will be of the highest standard.
Accredited services follow the latest standards of good practice for supporting people with autism and are committed to continuously improving the support they provide. These standards are set by independent experts, including people with autism, and reflect the latest research and understanding.
Inspire’s specialised autism programmes have all been successfully awarded accreditation status from the UK National Autism Society’s Autism Accreditation Programme. STEP Early Years has been accredited since 2002 and was the first service outside of the UK to have achieved this status of excellence. This was followed by the accreditation of the STEP Middle Years programme in 2006 and then in July 2011, the STYLE programme which was also successfully accredited.
The accreditation is revisited in three-year cycles which allows new staff and developments to be integrated into the programmes on a rolling basis. Inspire’s accreditation is now valid through to 2020.
In July 2013 Inspire’s Multisensory Therapy & Therapeutic Horseback Riding Services became the latest Inspire services to be accredited and they are the first of their kind to ever be accredited by the NAS.
In July 2016 the above services were reaccredited by the NAS together with Inspire’s Therapeutic & Creative Arts and Pool services which were successfully accredited for the first time.
The NAS supports Inspire in the interpretation of the Autism Accreditation standards and advises the Foundation on creating quality action groups to assist the process. Inspire carries out a self-audit process against NAS standards, using set criteria, and then undergo a formal review that consists of verification of the audit, observations of practice and discussions with key stakeholders by a team of professional peers.
Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, the condition will affect them in different ways. Statistics show that around 1% of the child population are on the Autism Spectrum, and 4 out of 5 children diagnosed, are boys. Whilst there is no existing cure for autism, research has shown that early diagnosis is important as this allows intervention to commence at a young age, giving children the best chance to reach their full potential.
Inspire, the Foundation for Inclusion, has developed a range of specialised programmes that respond to the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum so that with the right support, at the right time, people with autism can lead happy and fulfilling lives.