For parents of children and young people with additional needs

Group courses available through Warwickshire County Council

Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P) – Stepping Stones

A positive parenting programme for parents/carers of children and young people with additional needs. This course is available free of charge through Warwickshire County Council(WCC). It runs for nine weeks, meeting once a week for two and a half hours.

The course covers a range of topics including managing behavioural problems and development issues; improving your personal coping skills and reducing parenting stress; using assertive discipline; developing a close relationship with your child; teaching your child new skills and behaviours.

Sensory Workshop for parents

This is a half day course for parents which is run termly at two centres North and South of the county. The cost is £25. New dates and venues will be available in the spring term.

National Autistic Society – Earlybird Programme

This course is for parents and carers who have a pre-school child diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The course offers advice and guidance on strategies and approaches for dealing with young autistic children. It is also a chance for parents and carers to meet and share their experience with other parents and carers in a similar situation.

You should receive a leaflet about this programme from the specialist consultants when your child receives a diagnosis, and your name will automatically be added to the booking list. If you haven’t received this leaflet, please contact the consultants directly.

For further advice, contact Sandra Bowering, Lead Consultant Teacher for the 0-5 Specialist Service 01926 413737 or [email protected].

For general information on the programme, please visit Earlybird website.

Act for Autism – Autism Support Programme

Two interactive programmes for parents and carers of school age children and teenagers diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. If your child has a new diagnosis, ask for the W.A.S.P programme; if you are a parenting teen with a diagnosis, ask for the T.A.S.P programme.

There are four 3 hour sessions, covering:

  • Your child and their autism
  • The sensory world
  • Communication
  • Involvement

These courses usually run termly and there is a small charge of £10 for the complete course (£5 for families in receipt of means-tested benefits).

For more information and to complete a booking form, contact Jennifer Furneaux-Porter, Integrated Disability Service, 01926 413737 or [email protected]

Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) ‘First Steps for Parents’

SEND Supported is offering a series of 3-hour information sessions for parents of children who have recently received a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) as well as those who would like to come back to find out more. The sessions will explore the characteristics of ASC and highlight some basic strategies. To express an interest please complete the online form

The Curly Hair Project

The curly hair project (CHP) is a social enterprise founded by autistic author Alis Rowe. CHP resources include books and e-books, podcasts, short animated films and a blog, along with regular workshops, webinars and training aimed at children and young people, their parents and carers and professionals.

For further information on :

  • Training
  • Events and scroll down to find local courses. There is a charge which is usually in the region of £16 for an individual or £40 for a family ticket (up to 3 people).
  • Webinars: The charge for webinars is in the region of £12 for an individual or £20 for a professional. (For those who are members of the Rugby Autism Network Charity, there is a reduced charge.)
  • General information and advice about all CHP resources

Future Learn – Understanding Autism

This is a free course run by the University of Kent covering:

  • What is autism
  • Social communication skills
  • Sensory sensitivities and repetitive behaviours
  • Co-occurring conditions
  • Strengths and difficulties of people on the autism spectrum
  • Lived experiences of people on the autistic spectrum

It is designed for weekly study (4 weeks at 3 hours per week) to give an understanding of autism from diagnosis to the spectrum and life with autism. Note that free access to the course is just for 6 weeks, with an optional upgrade of £52 for unlimited access after this. Find out more.

Understanding Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD

This is a free course run by the University of Derby. It is designed to help you learn more about autism, Asperger’s and ADHD, their differences and the importance of understanding the classification, assessment and diagnosis. There are 6 units which take approximately 3 hours of study per unit.

Current courses are open for a set period of time but the learning materials can still be accessed after this if needed. Find out more and book on the course.

Coventry and Warwickshire (CW) MIND Autism Support Service

This service provides support to children, young people and families before and after an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. This may be:

  • one to one support for children and young people
  • group support with others experiencing similar difficulties
  • informal social groups in community venues

Parent or carer coaching and training is also offered.

The child or young person must have either a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or be on the waiting list for an assessment with the Rise Neurodevelopmental Team to be eligible for this service. They should not be accessing support from Warwickshire's Early Help Team. Referrals should be made via the child or young person's education provision.

CW MIND free autism training events

These training sessions take place across Coventry and Warwickshire. They are free to parents, carers or relatives. The training sessions are all two hours long and take place during the day, in the evenings and at weekends.

The training offered is:

  • Introduction to Autism - looking at what it means to be autistic, debunking some myths, gender differences and more
  • Autism and Positive Wellbeing - working towards a happy successful autistic life, explaining catastrophisation, spiky development, the positives of autism and parental and children's good mental health, including sleeping tips
  • Sensory Processing Disorder - what it is, how it affects our children and some strategies to survive - courses are currently being advertised
  • Demand Avoidant Behaviour - this is a new course in preparation

To find out when and where courses are being run, you will need to sign up to the Autism Support Newsletter.

Brighter Beginnings Early Years workshops

These workshops are for children with additional needs aged between zero and five. If you are interested in finding out how to access support and meet other parents to share experiences then this programme is for you. Designed by Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, and parents, the group sessions cover different topics over 5 weeks. These topics include: 

  • sleep
  • getting help at school
  • positive behaviour
  • communicating effectively with professionals

The workshops take place every Tuesday, starting from 5 November to 3 December. They run from 10am to 12pm with refreshments at 9.30am.

The sessions are held at: Limbrick Wood Centre, Thomas Naul Croft, Tile Hill, Coventry CV4 9QX.

Further details about the workshops from Contact.

Parents are invited to attend all sessions to get the full benefit from the course.

There are limited places available so book now by email: [email protected]