Daniella has been a learning disability nurse for 18 years and is passionate about improving both the health and social care needs of the people she supports. Supporting people with autism throughout her career, Daniella has increased her knowledge by completing a Mental Health Degree and also a Masters in Autism to increase her understanding. Bringing a wealth of experience Daniella has recently joined the team at Spectrum, a Cornish based charity for people with autism.
Mary Simpson CEO Spectrum & Daniella McConnachie
Recognising that physical activity is key to our health and well-being, Daniella trains regularly and wanted to complete the National Three Peaks Challenge. Grasping the opportunity to raise funds for the people she supports at Spectrum, Daniella was delighted that some of the Spectrum team agreed their support, giving up their weekends for training and hours of driving needed for this challenge.
Spectrum is an autism specialist charity with a long record of working with children and adults who have complex and challenging needs, who offer tailor made support which enables and empowers individuals to be active members of society, leading a fulfilled life and playing valued social roles. Through Spectrum's expertise, our environments are designed to minimise the impact of autism in line with the latest CQC guidelines and best practice. Spectrum has a dedicated positive behavioural support team consisting of a leading autism specialist consultant, a clinical psychologist and behavioural specialist and have a strong track record of working with people with complex communication difficulties. Our specialist approach has supported people to develop the socially functional skills to enjoy relationships and friendships; sharing interests and activities with others. We aim to promote the health, development and well-being of each individual whilst encouraging and nurturing their specific interests. Whatever a person’s condition, we don’t allow it to rule their life. Instead we aim to limit its impact by supporting them to take control of their lives as far as possible.
We know that people with autism display higher rates of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity when compared to the general population. A lack of sufficient daily physical activity is the primary cause of most chronic conditions and social isolation can accommodate this. Many people with autism miss out on the benefit and enjoyment of exercise because sport and physical activity leaders aren’t always aware of the impact of the condition’s ‘hidden’ differences, such as heightened fear and anxiety in social situations, sensory challenges, and differences with understanding body language and metaphor. Certain behaviours are sometimes perceived as being a problem, when in fact there may be many other reasons that explain the behaviours, such as a reaction to coping with a sensory sensitivity or misunderstanding certain communications.
Reading this, you may be able to tell that I care deeply about the health and well-being of the people I support. Climbing the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours in October is our challenge; which is both exciting and terrifying! Giving to this fundraiser will improve the lives and health of people who find their own daily lives a challenge. Please help us to change lives.
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