Children's Services

Pre & Post Diagnosis Support for children aged 0-18 years in East Lancashire & Blackburn with Darwen. The project provides information, support and advice for families before and after diagnosis of their child.
Family Support: Families will be offered up to six support sessions, this can be pre or post diagnosis however this may be increased on an individual basis. The family support team work with families to provide early intervention including advice, information and positive strategies. Support sessions will be offered at the ARC (Autism Resource Centre) but in exceptional circumstances home visits will be a possibility for families struggling to access the centre. The current waiting time to access one to one support is six weeks from referral. 

Blackburn with Darwen Family Support Worker: Families will be offered up to six support sessions, this can be pre or post diagnosis however this may be increased on an individual basis. The family support worker will work with families to provide early intervention including advice, information and positive strategies.

Support sessions will be offered at the CVS Boulevard Centre in BwD but in exceptional circumstances home visits will be a possibility for families struggling to access the office.

Cygnet Training: The Children’s Service offers cygnet training for parents and carers on a range of topics such as autism & diagnosis, communication, sensory needs, understanding and managing behaviour. The course runs for six weeks and last two and a half hours. 

Healthy Minds Training: From January 2017 the team will be offering healthy minds training which an NAS courses delivered by our team. This course is for parents, carers of children of children in KS1 or KS2 and professionals working with the family and looks at how to provide support to prevent mental health issues developing in young people with a diagnosis of ASC. The course runs for six weeks and last two and a half hours. This course is for parents and carers who have previously accessed our cygnet course. 

Children’s Social Groups: Our children’s social activities are run by a team of children’s play workers at the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) for children & young people with ASC’s. These sessions provide social opportunities to help children practice and learn social skills, make friends to help reduce their social isolation, help to increase confidence and self-esteem and help to reduce mental health problems such as stress and anxiety. 

Our Senior Groups run on Wednesday evenings 5pm – 8pm and Saturday afternoons 2.30pm – 5.30 pm for children aged 11-18 years and our Junior Groups run on Saturday mornings 10am – 2pm for Children aged 4-11 years. 

Holiday Clubs:  We hold various activities during school holidays, Junior Holiday clubs for children aged 4-11 years and also senior holiday clubs for children aged 11-18 years. The clubs run from 10am - 4pm. 

Family Sessions: Action for ASD will also hold Family Sessions once a month on a Monday evening 5.30pm - 7.30pm and alternate Sunday afternoons from 1.30pm – 3.30pm. This is a parent led session but families will have the opportunity to speak to a member of the family support team if needed. The children will get the chance to play in a safe ASC friendly environment whilst their parents can relax and meet other parents and they can share advice and support each other. 

Sibling Support: Once a month Action for ASD will hold a Support Group for the siblings of children & young people with an ASC and provide fun activities on a Friday night. These sessions will provide an opportunity for siblings to get together and have fun with other children who have similar situation to themselves.

Parent Support Group: We hold a monthly parent support group for parents and carers of children & young people aged 0-25 years. This group is held on the 1st Thursday of every month at the ARC (Autism Resource Centre). Please feel free to come along to this group, we have guest speakers and a family support worker to speak to if needed. Tea & biscuits will be available.
 
Transition Group: This is a group for young people with Asperger Syndrome aged 16 -25 years. This group is a social communication group for young people going through the transition into adulthood and provides an opportunity to make friends, develop relationships, and increase self-esteem and confidence. The group bridges the gap between children’s or adults services for young adults. Sessions run every Thursday at the ARC, Burnley between 6pm - 8pm. 

Workshops for Children: We offer workshops for children and young people some topics include understanding autism, healthy eating, and developing resilience. For children who aren’t able to access these workshops or social session we offer a limited number of one to one support sessions around understanding their ASC diagnosis. 
Lego Club: Our Lego Club is a social development group for children aged 4-11 years or 12-18 years with autism spectrum disorders. The children work together to build Lego® models and through this have the opportunity to develop social skills such as turn taking and social communication.  

Signposting & Information: We have good relationships with local schools, colleges and universities and will provide support to gain access to local organisations across East Lancashire & Blackburn with Darwen. We have a library at the ARC that young people and their families can access which includes books, leaflets & information. We have resources such as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems), visual timetables, sensory toys and weighted blankets. 

Volunteering: We offer volunteering placements for young people aged 16 years and over who are diagnosed with an ASC. Our volunteer co-ordinator will provide support & guidance for anyone wanting to gain new social & life skills through volunteering. This is an opportunity to be a positive role model to younger children who have been diagnosed or are seeking diagnosis or ASC. 

Please Note: you must become a member of Action for ASD before you attend any events or social activities.