A Course for Parents and Carers: Understanding, Supporting and Accepting your Autistic Child.

An 8 session live and interactive online course for a small group of parents/carers, to help you understand your child’s perspective and experiences, and feel more confident and knowledgeable about how to support them.
When and where? Online via Zoom (a free app) on Thursday evenings, 8.00-9.30pm.
Running for 8 weeks with a break for school holidays if necessary.
Dates to be announced – please contact us to enquire.
Cost: £440 (if paid for directly by the family; please contact us for professional referral rates)

Contact us HERE to book your place or to ask any questions

Who is the course for?
  • Parents and carers of children with a diagnosis of autism.
  • Parents and carers waiting for their child to have an assessment.
  • Parents and carers who suspect their child is autistic and want to find out more.

This course is aimed at parents and carers of children who communicate using some speech. Although much of the information will be relevant to non-verbal children, the support strategies may not be suited. Please contact us if you would be interested in a similar course aimed at parents and carers of non-verbal autistic children.

Who is running the course?

The course is created and run by Sarah Harvey, a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. Sarah specialises in Autism and Mental Health. She works at The Apple Tree Centre with children and young people to develop their confidence in social communication and their understanding of what autism means to them. The course has been developed with input from autistic adults, and feedback from parents of autistic children. Sarah has professional links with the Sheffield NHS Speech and Language Therapy Autism Teams and The Ryegate Children’s Centre.

What is covered?

Week 1 – What is Autism? We will explore the differences in the way autistic people think, learn, process and interpret information, and how this varies between people. We will dispel some myths and look at the ongoing support that is available in Sheffield for parents and carers.

Week 2 – Identifying, supporting and accepting Autism. We will discuss how Autism is identified, and the reasons why people may seek a diagnosis. We will look at how this can impact the child and the adults caring for them. We will begin to look at the differences in how we think, and things we can adapt to make life easier.

Week 3 – Understanding and supporting language and communication. We will learn about how communication may develop differently, different ways autistic people may use or understand language, differences in social communication, and differences in how autistic people may interpret what others mean.

Week 4 – Understanding and supporting social pressures. We will learn about the complexities of social interaction and things we can do to reduce this pressure. We will consider what it is like being autistic in a predominantly non-autistic society. We will discuss masking/camouflaging and the impact this can have. We will discuss the importance of supporting our children to develop self advocacy skills.

Week 5 – Understanding and supporting processing. We will consider different ways of thinking, and focus on how we make sense of what is happening around us and what we are expected to do. We will look at the benefits of predictability, visual strengths and routines.

Week 6 – Understanding and supporting Mental Health. We will discuss links between autism and mental health diagnoses and how to recognise and get support for mental health needs. We will explore common coping mechanisms and emotional regulation strategies. We will discuss strategies to build connection with your child.

Week 7 – Understanding and supporting sensory needs. We will talk about differences in sensory processing and the impact of this on how we feel and behave. We will consider how parents and carers can support these needs by adapting environments and developing sensory regulation strategies.

Week 8 – Understanding experiences of school, and ways you can provide support. We will look at expectations, challenges, social pressures and bullying.  We will also cover talking to teachers, setting appropriate goals and making adaptations, with the aim of allowing a child to thrive, not just helping them survive the school day.

What have other parents and carers gained from the course?

“I have a lot better understanding about what autism is and it explains to me a lot about my child and how he is.”

“A more rounded, fuller understanding of what autism is and how it affects my sons everyday existence. I was enthralled, but also quite shocked as to what it is and what my son is up against.”

“A better understanding of what an autistic child has to cope with in different circumstances and how to make situations easier for everyone involved.”

“No one involved in supporting us has ever really sat down and explained what Autism actually is. This course has given me a greater understanding of the condition. I also now have a better understanding of the challenges that autistic children face. However, it has also provided some really great ideas and techniques on how to support my child. It’s also really nice to have a course dedicated to supporting parents and meet others in similar situations.”

For more information or to book your place please contact us here