Mollie Salter-Prescott joined Green Light in August 2020 as a behaviour analyst with our Positive Behaviour Support team. She is currently studying to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. Originally from Lancashire, she now lives in Newquay, Cornwall.
Q: What previous experience of autism or learning disability did you have before joining Green Light?
A: My experience of autism started within my own family. I've always been passionate about helping people to access what they want out of life and started working with children with autism when I was 18. I've been working in the field ever since.
Q: What kind of things do you and your team do on a typical day?
A: There's no such thing as a typical day as a behaviour analyst! One of my main priorities each day is catching up with the teams and making sure that they can access any support they need from me. My favourite part of my day is seeing our teams support people to achieve meaningful goals using the PBS plans.
Q: What kind of things would you be doing to support the people living in your home?
A: My role is to look at what the people we support need and to develop a plan that will help them achieve this. This can be anything from teaching a brand new skill to supporting someone to cope with situations that they find challenging.
Q: What are the challenges & rewards of supporting people with autism & learning disabilities?
A: Supporting people with autism & learning disabilities can be challenging, as they can't always communicate their wants and needs effectively. Discovering what they want/don't want and like/don't like can be difficult but the reward when they achieve something they previously couldn't makes it worth every second.
Q: As you head to work; what do you most look forward to?
A: When I'm out in the homes, I look forward to seeing the people we support and trying out parts of their new PBS plans with them. Seeing a new approach work for the first time is one of the best feelings. When I'm in the office or working from home, I love opening my emails and seeing photos of the people we support doing amazing things. Our teams are amazing at taking photos to document people's achievements.
Q: What has surprised you most about working with people with autism & learning disabilities?
A: The thing that surprised me the most about working with people with autism & learning disabilities is how difficult it can be for people to get the right kind of support. The process to get effective early intervention is incredibly difficult and I thought it would be easier for people to access this. This is why I love working for Green Light where I can support lots of people and tailor the support they receive to their specific needs.
Q: Have you learned anything unexpected about yourself or your skills and abilities?
A: I don't know if I've learned anything unexpected about myself but I've definitely developed unexpected skills. Growing up I was never very confident in myself but working in this line of work has taught me to have more faith in my abilities. I know now that if I'm confident, it instills confidence in the rest of the team and the people I support. This is something I never thought I'd be any good at it and I feel I've developed this skill through my job.
Q: What kind of skills & values would you say people need to have, or develop, in order to be great at this kind of work?
A: I think the most important value is to respect people's autonomy. This goes for colleagues as well as people we support. Everybody has the right to make their own choices and have their own preferences and there is a way to be respectful of other people's decisions even if you disagree with them. Valuing independence is also really important. Sometimes it's easier to do something yourself than it is to encourage and support someone else through it, but upskilling the people we support is vital to improving their quality of life.
Q: What's been the highlight of your career working with people with autism and learning disabilities so far?
A: The highlight of my career has been in increasing people's ability to communicate effectively. I only started working with Green Light 3 months ago, so the highlight of my career actually comes from my work prior to this. Me and my team supported a young person to go from no functional communication to speaking in 3-4 word sentences. I can't wait to start seeing progress like this with the people I support here at Green Light.
Q: As you leave work, at the end of a typical day, how do you know you've done a great job?
A: After a day based in the homes, I know I've done a good job when I leave a team feeling comfortable with the plan in place. I am not typically the person left to implement the plans, so it’s really important that the team feel comfortable, confident and competent in doing the plans themselves. I think it's really important to build a good relationship with the team so that they're happy to tell me when they feel they need more support.