Autism Awareness Programmes for Parents Exceed Expectations

Autism programmes and workshops for parents and carers – Launch update (Apr 2022)

A new suite of programmes and topic-based workshops was successfully launched in February and March by the Communication & Interaction team at Babcock LDP.

These have been made available (fully funded by DCC) to all families with a child who has received a diagnosis of autism, or is on the autism assessment pathway for a diagnosis.

The first cohort attracted interest from 147 families, with attendance across the 4 sessions ranging from 109 to 79. Acknowledging the busy, and at times, unpredictable lives for families, plus storm Eunice and CV19 pandemic cases etc. 

Our newly developed 4 module parent programme is delivered virtually as a ‘live’ session by an advisory teacher from the Communication & Interaction team.

The virtual platform facilitated a very active ‘chat box’ which parents/carers made full use of as promoted to connect with each other. The sessions covered: Autism overview, Communication, Behaviour and Sensory. This first cohort were also invited to consider and choose a new programme name, from what was originally called the ‘Parent Autism Awareness Programme’. The new name chosen from a selection offered is: Autism and Us

Evaluation from this first programme cohort included:

  • 99% Found the information provided helpful
  • 92% Found the presenter accommodating and were made to feel comfortable
  • 72% Found meeting other parents with similar issues beneficial
  • 86% Felt their understanding of autism had increased
  • 65% Had not attended any other autism awareness training
  • 93% Reported an excellent, very good or good engagement experience

Feedback captured included:

"It gave me a much better insight into autism and made me realise why my son does or doesn’t do some things. Great presenter, and being able to connect with others that have similar children was fantastic."
"The knowledge that everything you have and are experiencing are understood by others out there and you are not alone."
"Having ways of being able to describe things to my family. I loved the videos that were included and look forward to the links for these. Information was very clear and concise. I have done a lot of reading and reaching for support since my sons diagnosis but never actually taken part in any training."
"We found it wonderful that we've come so far that we now know all this and the awareness is increasing and therefore it will go some way to help and support those with Autism. We also appreciate the fact that the courses are available for free and that they have been offered to those with children who are awaiting a diagnosis, not just for those who already have one. Trainer is clearly very knowledgeable and passionate about Autism and this was evident to see and hear."
"Genuinely exceeded my expectations. In contact now with lots of other parents and looking forward to next session."
"The understanding of a professional who truly understands and respects and values parents. Something I feel is lacking at this moment in time in the Education System."
"Hearing someone speak honestly about the challenges autistic children have whilst recognising their value and worth."
"Just to know we are not alone, information was amazing."
"Feeling less alone, I’ve already implemented small tips and its made such a difference. All I’ve ever wanted is to have a happy child, and this has already helped me achieve that even just in a few days since the course."
"I didn’t feel so alone, I felt heard and it made me realise what I’m experiencing with my little girl is real. Real for her too and it really helped to hear it’s ok."
"Feeling positive about my child and his abilities rather than his difficulties and hopeful that the world is changing. The presenter was very inspiring."
"The manner in which the trainer presented the information being re-laid was great. It was easy to grasp and good to be refreshed and learn."
"Thank you, I shed a tear and I felt very empowered after it."
"Thank you so much this makes a huge difference in how I can see my sons behaviour and understand it slightly more to help him."
"Trainer is excellent, he delivers clearly and simply, with understanding and emotion, he really cares, which I find is rare. I loved the structure etc. The bonus was meeting other parents in the chat box and setting up a Facebook group, this is great as it is a lonely road to start with."