Why are anti-ligature radiators suited for autism education?

  • 5 Feb 2020

Contour explores certain autistic challenges and how they closely align with the product features of its anti-ligature radiators.

Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates and how they experience the world around them. Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning that whilst autistic people experience similar difficulties, traits and tendencies, they will be affected in different ways, with different levels of severity.

Contour has been lucky enough to supply its anti-ligature radiators and anti-ligature radiator covers to a range of specialist autism schools around the UK.

Part of Contour’s role is to understand the customer’s needs, and never has this been more important than in the variety of specialist educational facilities that we provide for. Through close consultations, Contour is getting a better understanding of the varying challenges that people with additional needs face, leading to the manufacture of top-quality products.

Sensory needs = the need for protection

Many people on the autistic spectrum experience over or under-active sensory differences. Someone with under-sensitive sensory needs will have a tendency to mouth non-edible items. This is known as pica. With this in mind, hygiene is of utmost importance and the risk of spreading harmful bacteria should be minimised.

BioCote protection

That’s where BioCote comes in. Biocote is an additive that provides an effective, safe and long-lasting solution to combatting a wide range of dangerous bacteria, including MRSA and E.coli. We’re the only company to incorporate BioCote® anti-microbial protection into our LST and anti-ligature radiators.

Easy access for cleaning

Our anti-ligature radiators include Pin Hex and key locks which can be used to ensure fast and simple access for staff, whilst preventing unwanted access to those who are not authorised. Want to read our step-by-step guide on how to clean behind one of our radiators? Click here.

Self-abusive behaviours = the need for safety

Those who present as severely autistic will demonstrate signs of self-abusive behaviour. As the name suggests, our DeepClean anti-ligature radiators minimise the risk of anyone tying a cord around any ligature points.

Standard radiators have wide grilles and numerous ligature points, which presents an opportunity for self-harm. Our DeepClean anti-ligature radiator grille design incorporates 2mm holes and 4mm centres, making it highly unlikely for pupils to inflict harm on themselves.

Prevent interference

The small grilles also prevent pupils from poking their fingers through the holes, and small items being pushed through the covers. This reduces any issues around blocking the radiator fins and causing a hygiene issue, as well as affecting circulation within the cover. Learn more about our pencil-proof grilles here.

Behavioural disturbances = the need for robust performance

This would be a blanket concern in all SEN settings, but worth noting for the purposes of this blog. Inappropriate behaviours such as throwing objects and damaging furniture is a common disruption that SEN settings face. That being said, you’ll want a solution that is built to last.

Our DeepClean anti-ligature radiators are made from 1.5mm Zintec steel, with an option to increase the thickness of the material to 2mm thick for more demanding environments. Not only that, but we can also incorporate a strengthening strut to the front of the cover, providing that extra strength to the cover. This may be a consideration for covers that are 1400-2000mm long to help reduce the flex within the front of the cover*.

*Sheet metal is naturally flexible, therefore on the larger guards, it helps to have the added strengthening strut.

Colour Psychology

Colour psychology has a huge impact on design choices in the marketplace, and this is especially true in autism education. Due to their heightened senses, autistic individuals are likely to find certain colours distracting and inhibiting. Therefore, we recommend more toned-down colours.

In understanding the specific needs that children and adults with autism have, we’re able to manufacture products that closely address some of the more common challenges that those individuals face.

Contour can be contacted at;
The Mansions
43 Broadway
Shifnal
TF11 8BB
Tel: 01952 290 498
Email: [email protected]

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