“ It was good to meet others in the same position. Now I don’t
feel so isolated.” A parent who attended the Emerge programme.
Autism Advisors have daily contact with parents of children and teenagers on the autism spectrum. As a result we know that many parents face similar issues within their families. The Advisory team has drawn on their extensive experience to devise parent support and training programmes which address some common themes.
Bodies such as Social Work, Education and Health departments within local authorities can commission this support for groups of parents. If you think you would benefit from our sessions then we suggest you contact your local authority for advice on accessing our services. We appreciate however that it is not always possible to get funding support and we want our programmes to be accessible to as many people as possible. As such, we are currently developing ways to be able to offer our support and training programmes online which would reduce costs.
Emerge is based on the understanding that many parents need support during the journey to the diagnosis and beyond. This enables parents to learn about the relationship between their child’s unique form of autism and the daily issues they are experiencing. This, in turn, is then linked to practical strategies of support.
Parents are supported to develop an individual manual with a support plan specific to their child’s profile in order to support the next stage of their own process. This includes understanding the emotional impact of the diagnosis on themselves and the wider family.
Emerge occurs over a six week period where parents attend one four hour session per week. The sessions provide knowledge on how to develop and implement practical strategies across early developmental function areas.
The maximum recommended group size is ten, however, it is possible to offer multiple programmes simultaneously.
Some parents of children with Asperger’s syndrome have to endure many years of waiting for a diagnosis with many children reaching the teenage years before finally being diagnosed.
This programme aims to address the emotional impact the diagnosis has on the parents and the family and increase parents' understanding of their teenagers' Asperger’s syndrome through:
The first session starts with helping parents to talk about where they are in terms of the diagnostic process and the support that they feel they need. This leads to discussion about the daily issues and the challenges their teenager presents.
Throughout the programme parents progressively work to develop their understanding of how Asperger’s syndrome relates to and impacts on daily challenges. As understanding builds, parents are enabled to use their developing insight to formulate approaches to supporting their child.
The programme includes the following:
Some teenagers with autism also have an additional learning disability. This can make it difficult for parents to understand and support a range of presenting behaviour and other issues.
The starting point for this programme is to help parents talk about their current situation and the support that they feel they need. This leads to discussion about the daily issues and the challenges their teenager presents.
The programme is underpinned by similar approaches to our programme for parents of teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome however the focus is different. This programme is designed to respond to the specific needs that arise when an individual has autism and a learning disability.
The programme includes the following:
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