Norland partners with TAP to pioneer autism support programme

The First Steps programme includes six weeks of regular home visits from licenced child psychotherapists and paediatric occupational therapists. Working in collaboration with the child and caregiver, the programme team will assess how the child and family function within their home environment and deliver an expertly curated support and guidance plan for enhancing intentional and reciprocal child and caregiver interaction. Caregivers will be provided with the tools to recognise how their personal stress impacts on the interaction with their autistic child and enable them to develop appropriate communication styles of interaction.

The programme aims to enable parents and carers to develop a deeper understanding of their child’s experience and what they are trying to communicate. This enhances their ability to notice enjoyable ‘incidents of glimmer’ in their interaction with the child and create an environment where these moments can be replicated.

At the heart of Norland’s research and expertise, is the importance of the family environment in nurturing a child. Through First Steps, parents will learn all the skills required to create the optimal environment to create a deep and sensitive emotional connection with their child, free of under- and over-stimulation. First Steps also aims to empower parents and carers to seek support and collaborate with statutory, voluntary private service providers and educational institutions to receive services that meet the child’s and family’s needs.

Through engaging with the First Steps programme, children will gain a stronger sense of self and enhanced emotional resilience and deeper connections with their family and friends.

For further information about the programme, read the project synopsis or contact Dr Theodora Papatheodorou.

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