A new project spearheaded by a Prior’s Court member of staff is exploring how young people with complex autism can better recognise body parts and better explain if they are feeling pain.

The "Body Awareness/Association" initiative, proposed by Pari Jevant, a Graduate Autism Practitioner currently on rotation in our Positive Behaviour Support team.

Pari noticed that while some young people are able to identify body parts when prompted or, if verbal, could name them, they may not have a clear association with those body parts. This can impact other areas of their lives, such as being able to communicate where they may be experiencing pain.

Learn more about Positive Behaviour Support

To address this issue, Pari has developed a project that aims to help young people associate pictures of body parts with their own, and eventually, be able to communicate pain in a specific area. The project involves weekly activities that include practical and visual exercises to increase body awareness, as well as interactive workbooks and sensory stories to help young people understand and express pain. 

Initially, the project will be carried out with one verbal young person from one of our residential homes, with the potential to extend to a non-verbal young person from the same home.

Pari is working with our Speech and Language Therapy team to gather resources such as communication boards and a PECS book, and will use a variety of methods to help young people associate body part pictures and symbols with their own body parts.

This has also led to the creation of an illustrated children’s story book called “Ouch!” which Pari has worked on with graphic designer Megan Griffin. An example of the book's contents can be seen below.

This project has the potential to significantly improve the ability of our young people with autism to communicate and express their needs and desires. It's an issue that can have a big impact on their quality of life, and I'm excited to see the progress and results of this initiative.

Pari Jevant, graduate member of the Positive Behaviour Support team

As a Graduate Autism Practitioner, Pari has worked in a number of different roles at Prior's Court, which has helped to give her the knowledge and experience needed to lead this project.

Find out more about our Graduate Scheme