Autism is a lifelong, developmental condition that affects how a person relates to and communicates with other people, and the way in which they experience the world around them.
Autism may be referred to as autistic spectrum condition.
This video explains a little about what autism is and how it affects people:
Further information about autism can be found by following the links:
Autism is diagnosed by looking at a child or young person’s social communications and interactions to see whether their behaviour, interests, or activities have any restricted or repetitive patterns.
The assessment is carried out by a team of professionals from Health and Education and there are different assessment pathways depending on your child's needs.
The assessment will take place over time and your child will be observed, so that the professionals carrying out the assessment can see them in social situations.
At the start of the assessment families will be given more information about how it will be completed and when it will be finished.
Once all the parts of the assessment have been completed a report will be written and shared with the child's parents and if appropriate the child's school, nursery or other setting. The assessment will help the relevant people understand and support the child.
Early Bird is a support programme for parents and carers, of pre-school children with a diagnosis of autism (not yet attending full time school) offering advice and guidance on strategies and approaches for dealing with young children with autism. It works on understanding autism, building confidence to encourage interaction and communication and analysing and managing behaviour.
If your child is under five you will be allocated a linked health visitor who will act as a key worker/lead professional and will support you in co-ordinating support. This is a chance for parents to meet other parents to share their experiences, learn about what autism is and isn't, some strategies to support their child and about what is available in the borough to support them including programmes such as EarlyBird.
Note: Parents are expected to attend this session prior to accessing EarlyBird/EarlyBird Plus programmes detailed on the following pages.
The 'What do I do now?' workshops are run four times a year.
You can register your interest in these workshops here.
Parent workshops are also provided (twice a term) for parents of children with autism; these include sensory needs, promoting positive behaviour, sleep, mealtimes and toileting. Parents choose which workshops they would like to attend. These are provided at a variety of times during the day including some evenings.
For parents of children aged four and under who are not yet in full time school who have received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition.
The course will help you understand your child's autism; get yourself into your child's world, make contact, and find ways to develop interaction and communication; and learn how to analyse and understand your child's behaviours and how to use structure, so you can pre-empt and cope with problem behaviours.
Six families attend the course at a time. Two places are allocated per family (we will also offer a place to your child's childminder/ nursery worker). The programme lasts for three months and combines group training sessions with individual home visits, when video feedback is used to help you apply what you've learnt. The commitment is a two and a half hour training session or home visit every week, and ongoing work with your child at home.
EarlyBird Plus training is for parents of children aged between four years and under nine who have received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition.
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 is that a child will be given consistent support. We work to build both parents' and professionals' confidence and encourage them to problem solve together. Parents are, of course, able to attend the programme without a supporting professional if their school are unable to release a staff member.
EarlyBird Plus uses 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 three months after the programme.
Places can be booked here.
This programme is designed for parents and carers of children and young people from Reception to 18 years old with an autism spectrum condition or those awaiting diagnosis. The programme is designed to:
This is delivered over six weeks covering
To register your interest please click here.
The earlyBird Healthy Minds programme is a six session parent support programme to help promote good mental health in children with autism aged 8 - 12. Healthy Minds has been developed in response to evidence which indicated that a high percentage of autistic children are at risk of experiencing mental health problems in adolescence and adulthood. The programme aims to help minimise this risk.
The programme is for parents of children with autism whose child is in key stage 1 or 2, a place is also available for an accompanying professional.
To find out more please contact:
A range of training opportunities are also provided by the voluntary sector (CAAS. HACS & DASH) they include:
Our training calendar can be accessed here.
The University of Kent has produced online training around understanding Autism. Find out more here.
There is a range of training and support available to nurseries, schools and colleges to enable them to meet the needs of children and young people with autism and particular needs. This includes:
Please view our training calendar for details of upcoming courses.
The Centre for ADHD and Autism Support (CAAS) supports educates and empowers individuals with ADHD and/or on the autism spectrum, their families and the community. Through raising awareness they change perceptions and break down barriers. They offer a wide range of support services to families across NW London. The Centre is hosting some workshops over the next few months on a variety of issues, find out more here.
HACS is local charity based in the London Borough of Hillingdon providing support for autistic residents and their families. Through provision of specialist Family Support, Training, Recreation and Employability services the aim of the charity is to minimise disability and maximise ability of autistic children, young people and adults. HACS are running a series of workshops throughout April to July 2018, please see their calendar of events for more information.
Disablement Association Hillingdon known more commonly as DASH, was formed in 1984 and is a user-led charity based in Hillingdon, West London. DASH challenges people's perceptions and encourages disabled people of all ages to reach their full potential.
Attention Hillingdon is an exciting and innovative project currently running with over 80 nurseries, playgroups and children's centres within the borough. The intervention supports the development of attention and listening skills, and promotes the development of social communication skills. If you would like to find out more information or to access Attention Hillingdon at a Children's Centre, please contact your local Children's Centre. To find out which Centre is near you, please visit http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/childrenscentres.
Friends of EarlyBird is a monthly support group run by parents for other parents. It runs on the third Friday of the month at Colham Manor Children’s Centre, Violet Avenue, Hillingdon, UB8 3PT. For further information call 01895 250211. Children are welcome to come along and access the play facilities including a sensory room. For more information about any of the above please email email@example.com or complete the form through this link to register your interest.
Supporting Autism is a support group for parents whose child is either waiting for or has a diagnosis of autism. The group is run by a parent and experienced staff at Oak Farm Children's Centre. Please contact the centre for more information and to book a place.
Hillingdon Autistic Care and Support hold monthly Autism surgeries. The Autism Surgeries provide an opportunity to speak with a family support worker, find out the latest news at HACS, borrow or return library books, collect or return membership and booking forms and to meet other parents/carers.
The Autism Surgeries are open to all parents and carers who are affected by Autism.
An Autism Parents Survey that was carried out earlier in the year/ towards the end of last year, those that responded to the survey informed us that not many of their children/ young people were accessing leisure opportunities. Respondents also fed back that they and or their children experience social isolation.
Following this survey we have linked with Hillingdon Sport and Physical activity team; they are keen to know more about parent/carers views on Hillingdon Sport, exercise and physical activity programmes for children and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities. This information will support them in further developing services.
Please use the following link to access the survey:Last reviewed: 07/01/2019
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