We have collaborated within a Multi-Disciplinary Early Years Intervention Service in a Local Authority for the past 18 years. Together we have supported hundreds of families through the assessment process leading to the consideration of a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and have recognised the long term impact that this diagnosis can have on the whole family. We have continued to support many families post diagnosis through individual counselling and support as well as facilitating the EarlyBird Programme.
As a team we have developed a really strong friendship based on our own experiences, our passionate interest in all things Autism, our love of travel and a great sense of humour.
I have 15 years experience of working within Mainstream Early Years settings as an Early Years Practitioner and Manager. For the last 18 years I have worked within a Multi Disciplinary Early Years Assessment and Advisory Team as an Early Years Education and Inclusion Advisor and have worked closely with Dr Daphne Keen, Consultant Paediatrician and more recently Dr Panorea Hudson. I am trained and experienced in using the ADOS (Autism diagnostic observational schedule) as I participate in multi disciplinary assessments with the Consultant Paediatrician and Specialist Speech and Language therapists. I also work closely with Clinical Psychologists, Occupational therapists and Educational Psychologists.
I am the parent of a young man with Autism and ADHD so I have first hand experience and an understanding of the daily struggles that parents face as well as how difficult life can be for children with disabilities.
I have offered Education and Inclusion support, advice and training to practitioners/teachers in Early Years settings/schools for children identified with social and communication difficulties, pre and post diagnosis as well as for children with other additonal needs.
As well as facilitating the NAS EarlyBird Programme I have worked closely with parents in their home supporting them to understand their child’s needs and how best to support them. During this time I have also been running Autism workshops for the extended family/friends as well as providing training to nurseries/schools.
I have attended a wide range of workshops, courses and conferences related to special needs and autism, including extensive training in the SCERTS model (Social Communicaion, Emotional Regulation and Transitional Support) training led by one of the creators of SCERTS, Emily Rubin, TEACCH, Attention Autism, Picture Exchange Communication System, PDA, 123 Magic and Makaton training.
My first introduction to the world of Special Needs and disabilities began many years ago when I had a disabled child. I was suddenly in a world I knew nothing about and one that I didn’t ask to be in and now 37 years later I am still there.
My work over this time has mainly involved working with children and families together, this has happened in many different settings including Playgroup, Nursery, Playschemes, Youth work and eventually as part of an Early Intervention team where I have been for 18 years.
I have worked closely with Dr Daphne Keen, Consultant Paediatrician for many years and now work with Dr Panorea Hudson. I have been a facilitator on the EarlyBird Programme for the past 12 and continue to support families after the programme, many until their young people are teenagers. I also work alongside Speech Therapists and with Clinical Psychology.
In this present role I work with parents individually and in groups, I offer emotional support through therapy, I trained as a therapist because I found that there was very little individual support for parents who were often isolated and struggling to manage day to day. I went on to become a CBT Practitioner and developed an interest in behaviour, this has really enhanced my work with families.
I also support children and parents together in a structured play environment, observing children, exploring behaviour and working with parents on strategies to change and manage behaviours.
I have attended a wide range of workshops, courses and conferences related to Special Needs and Autism including extensive training in the SCERTS model (Social Communication Emotional Regulation & Transitional Support} led by one of the creators of the programme Emily Rubin. TEACCH Training, Attention Autism, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). MAKATON and ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule).
Contact Laurain 07956541865 Sue 07706416602