Helping Mike Mike has autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and was due to have a care review which involved an assessment of his needs. Mike had never taken part in his assessments in the past as he found the pressure too much and struggled to find his voice. Mike said it was like a wall hit him every time and he just couldn’t say what he really needed to. Mike’s previous assessments has been completed with minimal input from himself, and the majority of the information collected during the assessment was from people that knew Mike well. Mike’s advocate introduced Mike to the ‘Needs Assessment Easy Read’ from the Justice for LB Toolkit. This document helped to break things down for Mike into more manageable pieces of information. Working together, Mike began to understand what areas of his life he needed support with, as each area of need was clearly broken down into chunks that were easy to follow. Mike then used the easy read himself, taking time to read and find his voice. Mike was able to identify a need no one realised he had. For many years Mike had followed a rigid structure in his life. For Mike to try new things, he identified that he would need support for a short time to develop a routine and structure. Without support Mike was unable to do this and therefore had limited his life to historical and fixed activities that he knew well. Because Mike came across as an able communicator, professionals assumed that his needs had been fully identified. Whereas with the use of the toolkit, Mike’s voice was able to be heard his social worker could identify and specify a need that no one other than Mike really knew about. Here’s what some of the social workers we work with have said about the Justice for LB Toolkit https://www.advocacyfocus.org.uk/justiceforlb What I love about the tools is that they have clearly been developed with the person at the centre of the assessment process and help professionals ‘think outside of the box’. I always carry the capacity assessment tool with me now and I am grateful that someone has put so much hard work into these tools! They make my job of communicating and explaining a little easier but most of all it enables me to provide a better quality and holistic service to the people I work with.