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Supporting children and families affected by autism

The EarlyBird programmes provide support and training for parents, carers and families when a child within the family has been diagnosed with Autism. There are two programmes, as follows:

  • EarlyBird: This is a three-month parent programme that combines eight group training sessions with five individual home visits, where video feedback is available. The aim of the programme is to empower parents/carers and support families in the period between the diagnosis of Autism and school placement.
  • EarlyBird Plus: This is a three-month training programme involving eight group sessions and two home visits. The aim of the programme is to empower parents/carers. To encourage a consistent approach between home and school by training parents and childcare professionals together.

The EarlyBird programmes are run as part of the Home Visiting Service through Swindon Portage.

Who this service is for 

EarlyBird
The EarlyBird programme is for families of pre-school children that have been diagnosed with Autism. Where a family is accepted onto the programme, two places are allocated per family.

EarlyBird Plus
The EarlyBird Plus programme is for families of a child, between the ages of four and eight years-old, where the child has been diagnosed with Autism. Where the family is accepted onto the programme, three spaces are allocated to each family (two places for parents/carers and one for a childcare practitioner/professionals who is working with the child in school).

How to access this service

The parents or carers of the child can request these services directly. This should be done by:

  • E-mail to swindonportage@swindon.gov.uk (please include your name and contact details and indicate the name of the programme for which you are applying). 
  • Telephone: 01793 465360

Next steps

When your application has been received and accepted, you will initially be placed on a waiting list for the appropriate programme. We will contact you again when a place becomes available on the programme.

Other sources of information

Further information can be found on the National Portage Association website.

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