11 Apr 2022

About autism spectrum disorder


Around one in every 100 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD often runs in families and boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls. This is thought to be partly because girls with ASD may have different behaviours from boys, which can make the signs less obvious.

If your child has ASD, they may see and respond to the world in ways different from those around them. Your child may:

  • have difficulties with social situations
  • find it hard to understand and relate to other people
  • find change difficult to manage, and prefer daily routines and sometimes strict rules
  • have intense interests in certain things which they like to focus on

ASD is a spectrum, which means children are affected in different ways and to different degrees. Some may have subtle concerns with understanding, while others may need more support and care.

I began to work with children and young people with autism about 20 years ago in the nursing sector. I then moved into the social care sector within the fostering, adoption and child protection team and finally into the residential care services.

The reason I decided to set up my own residential care services was because I felt that I was unable to carry out my role effectively due to lack of services and cut-backs. I began this journey with the support of my husband and within a year we received our Ofsted Registration and the fist young person moved into Sycamore House.

Each home has been given the name of a tree (sycamore, maple, oak) and now we are planning to open olive House.

The reason for selecting tree names was to reflect each young person joining us as an individual with different needs, making progress as they grow.

About Serenity Specialist Care

Serenity is 'a place to call home' for children and young people aged eight-to-17 who are living with autism, emotional difficulties and challenging behaviours.

Based on principles of quality, care and development, Serenity aspires to develop a bespoke service for each child, which recognises and adapts to their unique needs, building a world around them which enables them to achieve positive outcomes.

Each child receives a package of care which offers: an in-depth analysis of their needs and wants, a personalised care programme, a keyworker, promotion of independence, luxurious accommodation and access to innovative expertise. The accommodation has low stimulus decor and offers each young person a private room with ensuite facilities. They are encouraged to personalise their space and make it their own.

I've enjoyed my role in this field for 11 years and have always felt positive about the little achievements that the young people make. This has been a very challenging and demanding journey but one that I have enjoyed. It has allowed me, as a parent, to implement strong values, remorse, and care in my own three children and show them the world from different perspective. I have had great support from my husband who has been very understanding and by my side, as well as my family.

On this journey, I have developed and benefitted from excellent supportive colleagues who have helped me, and continue to do so, on this journey. I will always encourage other individuals and mentor them into the care sector as I feel that it's important to make a difference to our local community and support the individuals that needs us.