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Early Years provision empowering parents-celebrating World Autism Awareness Week

27th March 2018

BeyondAutism recently ran a number of workshops for Early Years that we are delighted to announce is starting as a full provision later this year. This free service aims to provide core ABA skills to parents of young children with autism. Working with parents, carers or other family members, alongside the child, the sessions provide helpful techniques tailored to the needs of each individual to support them with whatever stage they are facing next – whether going to school, attending nursery, or just playtime at home.

We asked two of the parents who attended what they thought of the service and the positive impact it can have on the young children and their families.

Meet Eva, mother to a 4-year-old boy, looking to prepare him for school

What contact did you have ahead of the workshops?

Bernadett [Rankasz, Head of Outreach and Training] came to see me at home ahead of the workshops, to find out a bit more about us, what sort of things they would like [our son] to work on and what the workshop can offer us. It was really valuable – it helps the service know the person and understand better what their needs are.

What were your impressions of the workshops?

I thought everything was wonderful from the set-up of the workshop, the place to the staff – everybody was extremely kind and welcoming, very appreciative of the children, making you feel that you know whatever happens it is okay… We felt very comfortable and at ease, which helps for the learning and development of the child, of the parents, of everybody really. You need to feel comfortable in a place to be able to get the most out of it.

What were your highlights from the workshops? E.g. Top take-away points.

He is able to sit and I know how to manage a tantrum much better than I did before. But also as a consequence of that he interacts more, he is more interested in everything around him. He used to do a lot of lying down on the floor not doing anything and now he is more into his toys, into his books, all those things are massive for me. Because bottom line you want him to be interested in the world around him. I can see the changes in him, being more into his toys, more into interactions with me, with his dad, I saw a change in him for the good.

What would you say to other parents thinking of attending the workshops?

Don’t hesitate. Because it will help enormously your child and yourself. It is only a few days, okay you have to make a bit of time for it, but the impact that it has on your daily life from there onwards is really huge. It’s a place where they know how to deal with your child and where they can help you interact with [them] better. I would say go for it, if you have the chance, straight away!

Meet Marina – she initially attended our ‘Introduction to ABA/VB’ course for parents and professionals. The information she learned here encouraged her to attend our Early Years service with her 2-year-old son, as she felt ABA could be effective in supporting her son now and in the future.

What were you most looking forward to getting out of the initial training?

To know more about ABA and how it can be applied in practise and what ABA is all about.

How useful were the Early Years workshops in showing ABA in practise and the impact it can have? 

Very useful – I saw some techniques which were applied to my son which worked immediately, especially from a behavioural point of view, so I could see ABA in action which was quite useful.

What were your impressions of the workshops?

I think that it’s amazing because by the end of the sessions they know exactly what your child likes and what your child doesn’t. Our tutor was able to engage [our son] in activity immediately which was quite unusual because normally he would cry and wouldn’t be comfortable with an unknown person. It was a friendly environment, she followed his lead at first before applying some behavioural techniques, teaching him what he needed.

Was it valuable being able to talk to other parents?

Very, some of the parents created a group on WhatsApp, we are sharing ideas of some contacts. It’s very useful to be in this sort of community.

What would you say to other parents thinking of attending the workshops?

I would say try everything and decide what is best for the child, but in order to know what works the best for the child you need to try everything. And especially in early years it is important to get early intervention as soon as possible.


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