Workshops for Parents and Carers

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our normal workshops in towns around Berkshire are suspended – instead we are providing online workshops.

Click here for details about our current services.

We offer a range of free autism advice workshops and courses to parents and carers who live in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire, through the Berkshire West Autism & ADHD Support Service, funded by the Berkshire West NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

Some are for parents and carers whose children have an autism diagnosis or are on the waiting list for a Berkshire CAMHS autism assessment, while others are also open to parents and carers of children with an ADHD diagnosis, or who are waiting for an assessment

  • Please note that NHS funding rules mean we cannot offer places at these workshops to parents and carers living in the Bracknell Forest, Slough and Windsor & Maidenhead areas unless they are registered with a GP surgery that is part of the Berkshire West NHS CCG. Click here for information about our services and other Autism and ADHD support in these three council areas.

The workshops and courses available – which are being provided online during the coronavirus pandemic – are as follows:

Autism Seminars for Families

This programme of evidence-based workshops, developed by the National Autistic Society, provides information and support to the parents and carers of autistic children and young people.

Understanding Autism: Suitable for parents and carers of children aged up to 11, looking at what autism is, the assessment process at Berkshire CAMHS, where to get help, and other conditions associated with autism

Forthcoming Understanding Autism workshops:

  • Friday, January 22, 10am to 11.30am.

Managing Anger: Looking at distressed behaviour and meltdowns in autistic children, how to cope and how to help children to understand and communicate feelings

Forthcoming Managing Anger workshops:

  • Part 1 Friday, February 26, 10am to 11.30am; Part 2 on Friday, March 5, 10am to 11.30am

Meeting Sensory Needs: Looking at sensory systems and how they work, how autistic people may process sensory information differently, how autistic children may have different sensory experiences, and strategies to help with sensory needs.

Forthcoming Meeting Sensory Needs workshops:

  • Part 1 Friday January 29, 10am to 11.30am; Part 2 on Friday February 5, 10am to 11.30am.

Workshops developed by members of our expert team that are open to parents and carers living in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire whose children have a diagnosis of autism or ADHD, or who are waiting for an assessment, are as follows:

Emotional Regulation

This workshop provides advice and ideas to parents and carers to teach strategies to help children and young people to manage their emotions, including using visual supports such as The Incredible 5 Point Scale and Comic Strip Conversations.

Forthcoming Emotional Regulation workshops:

  • Friday, March 12, 10am to 11.30am.

Food Refusal

Issues eating a wide range of foods are common in autistic and ADHD children and young people. This workshop discusses the factors that underlie food refusal, some tips to help encourage new food choices and where to get specialist advice and support.

Forthcoming Food Refusal workshops:

  • To be advised.

Workshops about Sleep Difficulties and Transitions to Adulthood are provided for the service by Parenting Special Children. Click here for more details.

For parents and carers of autistic girls aged 5+, we offer:

Autism in Girls

This workshop is led by Berkshire autism advocate Carly Jones MBE. Two of her three daughters are also autistic. Topics she will discuss include the different presentation of autism in girls, the importance of having a diagnosis (finding her tribe), masking and anxiety.

Forthcoming Autism in Girls workshops:

  • Friday, March 19, 10am to 11.30am.

We also provide National Autistic Society EarlyBird Plus* and Teen Life courses for parents and carers of autistic children aged 5 to 9 and from 10 to 16 – these are also open to education professionals who support their children. Click the course names for more details.

  • For more information about any of these workshops and courses, complete the online contact form, call 01189 594 594 (option 1) or email please include a daytime telephone member in your message so that we can contact you.

Most of these workshops and courses are funded by the Berkshire West NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and are available free of charge to parents and carers, along with other advice and support available from the Berkshire West Autism & ADHD Support Service.

*EarlyBird Plus courses, which are also free of charge to parents and carers, are funded by the Gerald Palmer Eling Trust, based at Hermitage, near Newbury.