Parent support is a vital part of the work we do at Perth Autism Support, parents with children with autism experience more stress than parents of non-disabled children and parents of children with other disabilities (Keen et al, 2010). This could be because of the particular difficulties that autism creates; difficulties in communication and social interaction which can affect relationships. The usual parenting techniques can be unsuccessful and parents can find accessing evidenced based advice difficult to access plus parents can find their social circle reducing as they try to deal with their child’s challenges.
But, if families can access the correct support then they can feel hopeful about the future.
At Perth Autism Support, we fully recognise the stresses and challenges that being a parent of a child with autism can bring but we also love to celebrate success! Therefore our parents support activities are designed to offer support and encouragement but also to give parents access to fun, relaxing activities!
Parents Social Lunches
Our free lunches for parents run on a monthly basis usually on a Tuesday or Thursday from 12pm to 2pm. They take place in our Activities Room at the centre and are a chance for parents to catch up with each other over soup and sandwiches and have some relaxing peer supported time. Our lunches are always supported by two members of PAS staff who rotate on a monthly basis to allow parents the chance to get to know the full staff team and hear about all the developments in Perth Autism Support services.
If you are worried about coming along for the first time, please contact our centre and we will be happy to have a staff member meet you beforehand and introduce you to parents to ensure you are welcomed and included.
Parents Health and Wellbeing Programme
All parents registered with Perth Autism Support have access to our Health and Wellbeing Programme which includes:
Zumba fitness classes (including Zumba Gold which allows less mobile parents the chance to access this fun activity!)
Through these activities, parents have ample opportunityfor fun, physical fitness to help reduce stress and anxiety and develop peer friendships and support.
Parents Complementary Therapies
Our lovely therapist, Kirsty, offers parents registered with Perth Autism Support the chance to have a relaxing Aromatherapy Massage or Reflexology for the reduced price of £10 per treatment. Therapies take place once a month at our centre and we have appointment available from 10.00am to 3.00pm.
We recognise that while we run lots of activities to support children with autism, and a number of sessions geared towards parents/carers, there was a gap in the support specifically for men.
Into this gap we have launched PAS.MEN!
This is a monthly opportunity to gather as a group of blokes who look after children with autism, dads, brothers, grandads, uncles....
This gathering together has a load of benefits:
- We can have a good laugh, meet new people, and make new friends.
- We can share our stories and experiences of autism.
- We can chat about the challenges and the rewards of caring for children with autism.
- We can learn from each other: new strategies and ideas for supporting and nurturing our kids.
- We can do a pile of fun stuff while having a nice wee break, and doing all the above!
PAS.MEN have met for a game of pool and a pint and have gone for a round of golf, with lots more planned for 2015, with group members deciding what will be done on a monthly basis.
Our PAS.MEN group is run by our Befriending Co-ordinator, Chris White, and for more information or to book a place please contact Chris on 01738 451081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents Information Workshops
All parents have access to our full interACTION workshop series which looks at supporting strategies for your children, and targeted workshops on specific issues common to our parents with a child with autism. For full details of our workshops, please see our Training and Information Sessions page
Weighted Therapy Loan Service
Weighted Therapy items can have a dramatic effect on children with autism who are sensory seeking, but these items can be costly to buy and do not work for everyone, therefore at Perth Autism Support we offer families a Weighted Therapy Loan Service so parents can loan the items for up to one month to ensure that there is a benefit to their child before purchasing items. Our Family Support team can also help parents to complete grant application forms for financial support to purchase items.
We have available for loan:
Bear hug vests
At Perth Autism Support, we encourage our parents to gain as much knowledge and information as possible regarding autism and their child's own individual circumstances, therefore our resource library can be a great base for information. We have books covering topics such as discussing a diagnosis with your child, challenging behaviours, books for siblings about autism and much, much more, we even have Relax Kids resources for parents to be able to support the classes and learning of techniques at home. For an updated list of resources, please contact reception at our centre on 01738 451081.
For details of all parents support activities and when they are running etc, check out our Events Page or click here