At Motional, we take great pride in our work that transcends boundaries - not just geographically but across all neurodiversity and abilities. We don't profess to have all the answers or be the sole source of knowledge, and welcome the chance to promote organisations and experts that can assist our extended Motional family.

Mental health challenges can touch the lives of anyone, and statistics indicate that over 25% of individuals with severe or profound intellectual disabilities may experience these challenges. We’ve been chatting to Dr Julie Calveley, Director of Nurturing Affective Care, to further enhance our knowledge in this area :

Individuals who have a severe and profound intellectual disability are often reliant on others for their care on a 24/7 basis. Unfortunately, these individuals are at a higher risk of experiencing trauma, pain, abuse, and loss, and the risk of suffering mental health problems is increased because of communication barriers. Nurturing Affective Care (NAC) recognises the emotional needs and challenges individuals with limited understanding and language face. The organisation is dedicated to promoting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of both children and adults with severe and profound intellectual disabilities.

Caring for students who rely on nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and movements, requires specialised skills. NAC was established to collaborate with families, providing essential knowledge, information, training, guidance, and support for all those caring for and working with children with severe and profound intellectual disabilities.

Empowering families and caregivers with the necessary resources and skills is crucial for the flourishing and thriving of lives. Society stands to gain immensely from the unique gifts individuals with severe and profound intellectual disabilities bring, including a profound sense of connection, presence, and appreciation. NAC aims to be a beacon of support, ensuring that emotional and mental health needs are recognised and cared for. A parent who previously sought help from NAC shares, "It can't be overstated how reassuring it is to find expertise as a family member. I'm so delighted to have found NAC."

As a registered Community Interest Company (CIC) operating on a not-for-profit basis from the UK and providing services worldwide, NAC offers guidance on safe, natural approaches to create emotionally enriching experiences. All initiatives are suitable for those who use nonverbal means to communicate and are based on evidence and values.

NAC provides training and support on emotional and mental wellbeing through face-to-face or online workshops, support sessions, courses, and hands-on experiential coaching. We visit homes and services to help when there are particular concerns for an individual’s wellbeing.

Traditionally, addressing mental health issues involved medication and talking therapies, often inaccessible for those with severe and profound intellectual disabilities. However, recent developments in understanding the mind-body link have opened doors to body-oriented, interactional, and sensory-based therapeutic approaches. NAC aligns with these approaches, adapting them to be accessible and effective for individuals who communicate through means other than speech.

NAC also curates and provides easily accessible guidance on wellbeing experiences for individuals with severe and profound intellectual disabilities. These experiences, categorised into Arts and Creativity, Interactions and Relationships, Mindfulness, Movement, Music, Nature, Sensory, and Touch, do not require specialised equipment and can be implemented by caregivers, parents, and educators.

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For more information, free 'how to' guides, and training and consultancy, please visit

Facebook: @NACwellbeing

Twitter: @NACWellbeing

Instagram: @nacwellbeing

LinkedIn: NAC Wellbeing

Dr Julie Calveley is the Director of Nurturing Affective Care and has been working in the field of learning disabilities since the early 1990’s. Julie founded NAC in 2020 with the intention of sharing what she learned about emotional wellbeing and creating a community to continue developing understanding and practical applications in this important area of care, support and education.

Julie is a registered learning disability nurse (RNLD) with a degree in psychology and a PhD in learning disabilities.