SEXUALITY & RELATIONSHIPS
WORKER & TRAINER
For people with learning disabilities
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Alan has worked in the field of learning disability since 1989 - This was firstly for Avon County Council Social Services and then South Gloucestershire Social Services - and has specialised in supporting people around social and sexual issues from 1991.
There was at this time, and still is, a huge gap in service provision for direct support and education around social and sexual issues for people who have a learning disability and especially that of working with men who exhibit unsafe and abusive sexual behaviours.
This is very much highlighted by the number of referrals Alan receives directly from psychiatrists, psychologists and community nurses who lack access within statutory services to training and resources as well as the time needed to develop skills and implement programmes of work.
Alan has been working on a freelance basis since 1997 and provides a direct 1:1 service for men (and couples) as well as a consultancy and training service for a variety of agencies.
Alan works with and supports a wide range of men who have a learning disability - from those who have very profound and multiple disabilities (including deaf/blind clients) to men who have a very mild or borderline learning disability. This also includes men who have A.S. or Autism, mental health issues and also men who have an acquired head injury.
The majority of referrals (approximately 70%) concern men who have exhibited some degree of social or sexual inappropriate or abusive behaviour, however Alan's work also supports men around many other areas of social and sexual behaviour.
See section on 1:1 work for more information.
Alan holds a Cert.Ed. in Adult Education and Training and a Diploma in Health and Social Care. He has undertaken extensive training in issues of Sexuality and Relationships, Sexual Health, Sex Education, Abuse, Communication and Counselling Skills.
Alan has worked for a wide range of agencies including SSD's, Health Authorities, Care trusts, Charities, Education and private residential and day services.
Alan's work uses a range of resources which pay particular attention to equal opportunities and can be used in a variety of ways which include Maketon, signs and symbols for individuals who have hearing or communication difficulties.
The work is based on a psycho-educational approach exploring issues with clients and matching teaching technique to the corresponding prefered learning style of the individual.
In order to do this a wide variety of educational resources are used which have been sourced and developed over the last 20 years.
Alan also uses a collection of cognitive behavioural methods and a developmental-integrative counselling model to assist the men to use the learning in the sessions in practical and meaningful ways in social and community settings. - this includes either direct practical sessions with Alan or requires liaising with and supporting staff teams to implement suggested strategies to assist the men in day to day situations and put their learning into practice.
Assessment is twofold. Firstly it is based on the assessed learning outcomes in the sessions and secondly by the observation and monitoring of any subsequent change in behaviour - in response to the strategies developed from the programme. These would usually be assessedover an 18 to 24 month period as the work recognises that behaviours and learning take time and that, for some, mistakes need to be made and are part of the learning and realisation process.