Helen House was built in the 1980s and is challenging in many ways for residents on the spectrum as it has narrow corridors and lacks natural light. Autism Together staff experience more incidents here with residents than at any other unit.
The purpose of the trial is to test how their home environment impacts those on the spectrum within this building. The results, gathered over five to 12 months, will then inform the rebuild of the entire house and the old hall itself. Ultimately, this trial will enable the development of an algorithm which identifies environmental triggers for people with autism.
The results will also be measured against the success of the Ferns and the Willows, two of the new units built on the Raby site prior to the advent of the biometric technology. Staff are achieving fantastic results in both these autism-specific buildings but whilst they think they know why the buildings are successful (natural light, spacious, curved corridors, small communal spaces etc), there is no real-life data from residents to support this.