ASIAN parents who have autistic children will benefit from a new support initiative launched in Birmingham this week.
South Birmingham Primary Care Trust has joined forces with the National Autistic Society to launch a new scheme called the EarlyBird Programme which aims to support Urdu and Punjabi speaking parents of young children with autism.
The launch event took place at the Park House Child and Family Centre in Sparkhill, Birmingham.
A spokesperson for the new initiative said the EarlyBird programme gives support to parents of children under five years old whose first languages are Urdu or Punjabi.
“This exciting new initiative, being run across Child Development Centres in Birmingham, is targeted at families to help provide them with easier access to these services”, the spokesperson said.
“Linkworkers from South Birmingham PCT wanted to break down this access barrier and approached the long-established NAS EarlyBird Programme to have training material, including the EarlyBird parent’s book and training DVD, translated into these South Asian languages.
“The Linkworkers will also deliver the programme in these languages to keep information consistent.”
EarlyBird Programmes combine group training sessions for parents with home visits, using video feedback to help them apply what they learn when working with their child at home.
The sessions aim to empower parents by providing them with key information on behaviour and communication to help understand their child’s autism.
It also offers them a support network and a chance to share concerns with those who are in a similar situation.
Linkworker, Ravinder Kaur Lotay from South Birmingham PCT said: “The programme was born from a need in the community to access parents who found it difficult to obtain information through other methods.”
Jo Stevens, NAS Director of EarlyBird, said: “The EarlyBird programme has been running very successfully for a number of years, supporting parents at a vital time in their child’s life. We are thrilled that we are now able to open up this programme to parents whose first language is not English, in a way that is culturally sensitive.”
If you would like more information about this EarlyBird programme please contact Ravinder Kaur Lotay on 0121 773 8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, see http://www.autism.org.uk/earlybird.