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Learning disabilities and autism

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

We now have a new poster for 2024, created for us by Opening Doors!

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

Friendly Information have resources around keeping safe online and grooming: 

"Grooming is when someone builds up a friendship with a child or adult. The person being groomed might trust the person who is grooming them and appear to enjoy the friendship only for that to be used against them later.

Groomers may also build a relationship with the young person’s family to make you believe you can trust them.​

You can watch the video to see how to stay safe and what you can do if you or someone you know might be a victim of grooming."

LeDer 2022 overview

Adam White, et al. King's College London, published 2023

The LeDeR programme, funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement, was established in 2017 to improve healthcare for people with a learning disability and autistic people.

LeDeR aims to:

  • Improve care for people with a learning disability and autistic people.
  • Reduce health inequalities for people with a learning disability and autistic people.
  • Prevent people with a learning disability and autistic people from early deaths.

This report summarises the lives and deaths of people with a learning disability and autistic people who died in England.

Infographic overview LeDeR 2022

June 2023

Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board are pleased to introduce a keeping safe resource.

This is a pack to support you to have conversations with individuals or groups of people with additional needs to understand about safeguarding and how to keep themselves safe.

Have a look at the resource  Keeping Safe Toolkit 

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 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

Autism and homelessness Toolkit

Dr Georgia Lockwood Estrin, Autistica, 2024

This toolkit is designed for homelessness service providers who engage with and support autistic individuals experiencing homelessness. It is particularly valuable for those seeking to enhance their understanding and effectiveness in working with autistic individuals.

Autism and homelessness toolkit (pdf)