What Family Learning courses we offer and how to add a child to the waiting list for one.

Our Bristol Autism Team runs a range of courses throughout the year.

All our courses and seminars are run by trainers who have previously run National Autistic Society (NAS) family training courses.

The courses are free for families and carers.

All courses will be online because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you're already on the waiting list, you'll be contacted and offered a new date.

To join the waiting list, fill in the referral form at the bottom of this page.

Bristol Autism Team Key Facts workshop for 3 to 9 year olds

The Key Facts workshop is a free one day course for parents or carers of a child aged 3 to 9 years who:

  • has recently been diagnosed with autism
  • is going through the diagnosis process

The course covers:

  • understanding autism
  • key strategies for supporting communication, sensory needs and behaviour
  • education
  • the services and support that are available to you

You'll receive a copy of the presentation as PDF by email.

National Autistic Society (NAS) EarlyBird Programme for 2 to 5 year olds

The NAS EarlyBird Programme Go to https://www.autism.org.uk/earlybird (opens new window) is a three month course for parents and carers of children between two and five years old, with a diagnosis of autism.

The NAS EarlyBird programme works with parents to help them:

  • understand their child's autism
  • develop their child's communication skills
  • use and apply practical strategies to manage their child's behaviour

It combines:

  • group training
  • individual sessions for parents or carers
  • home visit sessions with the child and parent or carer

Parents and carers need to commit to:

  • a weekly two and a half hour training session, for 8 weeks
  • four home visits
  • ongoing work with their child during the three month programme

NAS EarlyBird Plus for 5 to 9 year olds 

EarlyBird Plus is aimed at parents and carers of autistic children aged five and under ten and is delivered over a three-month period. 

The EarlyBird Plus Programme consists of eight sessions, each of which are 2.5 hours in length, and two home visits.

The content of the programme addresses three strands in a specific order. The initial sessions support parents to develop their understanding of autism and encourage them to consider how the key areas of difference impact on their child. The programme then moves on to look at communication differences before thinking about and discussing behaviour. 

Teenage Life for 9 to 18 year olds

Teenage Life is a course for parents who have a child with autism aged between 9 and 18 years. This course was developed and written in Bristol and is now being rolled out by the National Autistic Society across the UK.

Teenage Life is also open to parents whose child has a social communication and interaction need and is going through the diagnostic process.

Teenage Life is a six session course covering:

  • what autism is
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and education
  • self esteem and communication
  • local services and benefits
  • behaviour difficulties
  • relationships, puberty and sexuality

Each session is usually 3 hours. The course has a maximum of ten families attending.

Each family can bring up to two family members, for example grandparents, but not siblings (unless over 16 years) or the young person who is autistic.

We also run longer courses on topics such as:

  • key Facts, which is like the longer six-week Teenage Life course, but less on managing behaviour and puberty issues
  • autism and anxiety
  • autism and managing anger
  • preparing for adulthood
  • claiming benefits, for example Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • sleep
  • online safety

Each workshop session is usually three or four hours long. Some courses are day courses others are up to five weeks long.

These workshops are open to parents whose child is going through the diagnosis process or has social communication and interaction needs.

Add a child or children to the waiting list

Add a child to the family learning courses waiting list

You can add up to four children on the form.

Contact us

For more details, contact:

Family Learning Courses Admin Support Officer

Bristol Autism Team

Family Learning and Family Support Hub

Bristol Autism Team (CH)
P O Box 3399

Email: autismfamilycourses@bristol.gov.uk