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Learning disabilities and autism

This is a new page that we are developing.

Have a look at our Easy Read section - we are adding to this as we go along, with information about safeguarding and ways to keep yourself safe, including online.

Over the last few years, NSAB have had a number of discussions with groups and organisations in Norfolk who support people with learning disabilities and autism, about how to raise awareness of issues like exploitation, county lines, cuckooing.

It is important that people with learning disabilities and autism, those who have cognitive difficulties, and also children and young adults, have positive opportunities to make and maintain friendships. We want to help them to to do this, to reduce the risk of harm and exploitation in groups who may be less able to recognise the intentions of others. 

See and share our 3 minute 'Tricky Friends' animation

FREE Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Training for Norfolk and Waveney Learning Disability Providers

PBS is a widely used and person-centred approach to identifying and meeting a person’s support needs, in particular if someone is distressed and at risk of harming themselves or others.

It improves support and empowers people to use better and less harmful ways to get their needs met. This often involved using a range of different approaches that enhance a person's life. 

Norfolk County Council has commissioned free Positive Behaviour Support training courses for Norfolk and Waveney Learning Disability residential homes, supported living providers and day services.

You can access the FREE courses available via Eventbrite: Norfolk & Waveney - PBS Project | Eventbrite

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism

The Government has introduced a requirement for Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered service providers to ensure their employees receive learning disability and autism training appropriate to their role. This is to ensure the health and social care workforce has the right skills and knowledge to provide safe, compassionate and informed care to autistic people and people with a learning disability. This requirement is set out in the Health and Care Act 2022.

A code of practice is currently in development and should be published in 2023. Further recommendations made in this may change some elements of the way this training is delivered in the future.

The training is named after Oliver McGowan. Oliver was a young man whose death shone a light on the need for health and social care staff to have better skills, knowledge and understanding of the needs for autistic people and people with a learning disability.

The training was developed as a result of Right to be Heard, the Government’s response to the consultation on mandatory training on learning disability and autism for health and social care staff.

Find out more here including how to access the elearning.

Who I am Matters

In late 2022 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report on the experiences of being in hospital for people with a learning disability and autistic people. The report is a stark reminder that people with a learning disability and autistic people are still not getting the care they need, when they need and shines a light on the impact these failings have on people and their families.

It shared some real-life examples and explored the themes further in a podcast. These concerns are reflected in Norfolk's Safeguarding Adults Review for Joanna, Jon and Ben SAR.

You can read this report here: Experiences of being in hospital for people with a learning disability and autistic people - Care Quality Commission (

Loving relationships

For information, including easy read, on supporting sexuality and positive relationships Choice Support - Supported Loving