Larry Fisher

Community Learning Disability Nurse, Children’s Learning Disability and Behaviour Support Service Cumbria

I’m a Community Learning Disability Nurse working in the Children’s Learning Disability and Behaviour Support Service and this is my first nursing post. The service supports children and their families who have a diagnosis of autism and/or a learning disability. The service covers 2 pathways; an early intervention pathway and a bespoke 1:1 pathway.

The early intervention pathway consists of our parent workshops. We offer different workshops covering issues such as sleep, sensory, anxiety and behaviour. We also have an autism workshop for parents of children with a diagnosis of autism. As well as these, we also offer a longer workshop aimed at parents of children with a learning disability.

The 1:1 pathway is for families who might have accessed the above workshops and find they need further support. We offer behaviour assessments with the aim of helping parents understand their child’s behaviour and implement appropriate strategies.

The last 18 months has been a huge learning curve for me. From starting my first post thinking ‘I can’t do this’ to realising I’ve actually found something that makes me ‘tick’. Throw Covid into the mix and suddenly I’m on my way to be being the autonomous practitioner I wrote about at university.

I’ve learnt that leadership isn’t about leading from the front, but about developing ideas, inspiring and supporting people to realise they can do this and overcome challenges, both colleagues and the families I support.

This programme will give me the opportunity to develop my skills to be the effective leader I want to be. It will give me the opportunity for reflection, which is something that often gets forgotten. I’m hoping to meet others to share experiences and ideas and hopefully bring some of this back into my role and team.