Early Bird Plus programme
The team has three licensed deliverers of the early Bird Plus training. We run this training three times per year.
EarlyBird Plus is for parents whose child has received a later diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is aged 4-8 and in Early Years or Key Stage One provision.
The programme addresses the needs of both home and school settings by training parents/carers together with a professional who is working regularly with their child, the aim being that a child will be given consistent support. We work to build both parents' and professionals' confidence and encourage them to problem solve together.
‘EarlyBird Plus is an absolute must to help you begin to learn and understand how your child's mind works.’
We use the established EarlyBird framework of teaching about autism before considering how to develop communication or manage behaviour. The programme consists of eight group sessions, and two home visit weeks. A follow-up session is held six months after the programme.
We work with six teams (parents and a local professional) at a time. Two places are allocated to each family with a third available for their local professional.
‘Having the opportunity to discuss things with both his parents and other school staff was invaluable.’
The EarlyBird Healthy Minds programme
The EarlyBird Healthy Minds programme is a six-session parent support programme to help promote good mental health in children with autism (including Asperger syndrome).
Healthy Minds has been developed in response to recent evidence which indicated that a high percentage of children with autism are at risk of experiencing mental health problems in adolescence and adulthood. The programme aims to help minimise this risk.
Who is the programme for?
We work with six teams (parents and a local professional) at a time. Two places are allocated to each family with a third available for their local professional. Parents must have completed the Early Bird Plus programme before starting this programme and children must be in KS1 or KS2.
Autism-experienced professionals run the programme for families in their local area. The professionals are trained and licensed by The National Autistic Society’s EarlyBird Centre team. Sessions are run weekly for six weeks and last two and a half hours.
What are the aims of the programme?
Healthy Minds aims to empower parents, carers and accompanying professionals to understand more about the mental health issues that young people with autism may face.
During the six Healthy Minds sessions, we will look strategies that can help children with autism to:
• build self-esteem
• increase confidence
• reduce anxiety
• develop resilience.