Learning Together was born out its founder's frustration with traditional 'behaviour support' models for autistic people, especially those who may have intellectual disabilities or are non-speaking. Brendan himself had firsthand experience of mental health services and institutions between 2004 and 2008. This combination of personal and professional experience drove him to establish Learning Together's Supported Living service. The initial goal was simply to demonstrate the effectiveness of an alternative, relational approach called Gentle Teaching. Gentle Teaching is part philosophy/part intervention and was first formulated and described in Nebraska, USA, back in 1988.
In 2012 Learning Together started a pilot project providing 24/7 direct support to two autistic adults who had challenged traditional services to the extent they had been incarcerated and excluded from mainstream community services. Currently we support six autistic adults to live in their own homes. All six grew up and went to school locally and continue to have close ties and relationships with their families.