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Experiences of earlybird please?

(14 Posts)
BobbingForPeachys Tue 20-Oct-09 11:42:19

We're being refereed today by SLT after ds3's annual review today.


Marne Tue 20-Oct-09 12:35:50

Hi, we went on earlybirds in April this year, we found some of it was useful and other bits were not.

The main thing i got out of it was meeting other parents with ASD children (nice to know your not on your own with some of the problems you have). I also found it helped with dd2's PECS as they briefly explain how PECS works as well as scheduling.

I would say over half of the course focused on behaviour problems (which we don't really have a problem with with the dd's) but it was still interesting to listen.

I didn't like the idea of them videoing us (i am camera shy) but it was great when last month we got together (with the other parents on the course) and looked back at the videos and i could see how well dd2 had done in the past few months (since april).

silverfrog Tue 20-Oct-09 12:43:15

I htought Earlybird was for pre-schoolers? It was in my area when we did it.

dd1 was 3 ish at the time, and it was useful, i guess but not ground-breaking imo.

the best bit was sitting in a room for a couple of hours and knowing that whatever you said you wouldn't be looked at in horror or judged for.

we did do the whole course, but only because we needed to toe the line wrt help being given (we were on verge of pulling out as dd1 was not entitled to SALT while on course, so SALT was arranged with one of the course runners, so we continued to gain that iyswim)

I'm not sure how useful you would find it, Peachy, with previous experience and also now that you're doing your uni course, but I suppose nothing ventured nothing gained? you can always stop going if you're getting nothing out of it

BobbingForPeachys Tue 20-Oct-09 12:46:13

Me too silverfrog, but apparenlty it'sup to seven here now

BobbingForPeachys Tue 20-Oct-09 12:51:37

Interesting thanks

The SLT emphasised the support aspect of it to us, as it is true that we are isolated- but the behavioural stuff might be good as well as I ioften find little ideas in there I haven't thought of.

I did wonder what with Uni etc, and the lady e had last night (specialist ASD SLT- looked at her all night thinking 'wonder if you know moondog' LOL blush) runs it, but I am aware that being a parent and separating myself for study is a juggling act and there have been a few times when i'vefelt a need tos tep aside for a day or so nd try to think as pure -parent if that makes sense? I find myself increasingly doing unpaid advocacy and advice stuff, which I adore, but am aware I need to make a conscious decision to keep 30% or so of my brain aside for my needs as a parent- that sounds like waffle sorry, not sure how to articulate it.

silverfrog Tue 20-Oct-09 12:54:26

blimey, that's some wide range of experience/backgrounds there.

I htought earlybird was only really worth it for the parents of newly diagnosed children - it was very useful for them to have a one-stop shop where they could ask abut different behaviours/therapies/dietary intervention etc.

there was nothing new in it for us, but then I had found mn by that time wink

didn't they used to do an Earlybird plus as the next stage? maybe they've combined but you will be on a course with other parents with experience, rather than parents for whom it is all still a whirl and a blur

silverfrog Tue 20-Oct-09 12:58:37

have to sya, our team did seem to be best at helping with behviour issues, but like Marne, we didn't really have any with dd1 at that point.

they did hold my hand while I moved dd1 form cot to bed (and changed room son her at same time for good measure grin) but she settled within 2 nights, so not much help needed really.

they really swung inot action for a couple who were only getting 2 hours sleep a night though, and talked them through various options etc and really supported them.

BobbingForPeachys Tue 20-Oct-09 13:00:52

Harry was ony finally dx'd last year so we arestill in that trying to get it in his statement pahse etc, PAed only isued letter in amrch (!)- so alst year officially covers us, but we knew well before obv,and in fact had and lost a dx before that.

Maybe it is combined with EB plus, will ask about that maybe. Hmmmm

Am hatching a secret plot to try and take DH along- he'sonly really satrted to enage with the asd in the last few months tbh, would do him loads of good.

silverfrog Tue 20-Oct-09 13:03:50

that's what I did with dh too!

and to his credit he came to the lot, which meant him taking a day off work every week for 3 months. he got quite frustrated with it too though - obv some of my constant wittering on about different therapies/behaviours had filtered through even though he had shown no evidence of that before grin

but it did help him quite a lot in thinking about how to engage dd1, and how to organise our time together etc

BobbingForPeachys Tue 20-Oct-09 13:09:30

Dh is at Uni 18 hours a week, so am praying it fits around that (attendance comprises 50% of grade- makes me hmm cause I had to earn my grades LOL)

DS3's ASD didn't affect much above sleep and schooluntil recently, but altely we've got into the ahole ear muffs / routine / crowds thing. I expected that to soemectent but DH ahs been knocked a bit off course, and ds1 is struggling as well (massive meltdown at the weekend again) so any tips, strategies or even just chances to meet local ASD staff (given we have nobosy atm) would be good i think

LauraIngallsWilder Tue 20-Oct-09 13:17:19

I attended an earlybird plus course during the summer term
I think earlybird plus is parents of kids up to 8 - earlybird is parents of kids up to 4?

On our course there were several TAs and two grandparents

For me the best bit was definately meeting other parents of children with ASD to compare experiences

We werent filmed - much to my joy!

TBH I think I would have got much much more out of it had I gone when ds was 3 or 4. He was finishing year 2 when I attended and I found most of the stuff we 'learnt' I found I already knew or thought wouldnt be helpful to implement.

efinately worth going though

likeacuppa Tue 20-Oct-09 13:43:35

I went on earlybird plus in the summer term. There are two separate courses: earlybird is for newly diagnosed parents of pre-school children, earlybirdplus is school age up to eight and in our area at least parents who have had dx for around a year are prioritised over those with very recent dx.
I had mixed responses. DS1's school sent two TAs to do the course (together with me and DH) and absolutely the top benefit of the course is that these TAs now know a lot about ASD, and we've had around 20 hours of being able to talk to them about DS1 and his needs. A close second came meeting other parents with children with ASD and thinking about the similarities and differences between the children, their experiences and so on. And learning from them too smile.
The tutors were also great, one from LEA (autism advisory teacher) one from NHS (specialist nurse with aspergers team), with lots of knowledge and experience.
The course itself seemed a bit monolithic, and not very well tailored to our group. Having said that it was actually useful to go over again stuff that we thought we already knew even it didn't seem immediately relevant to our immediate situation. And there were some five star ideas, and the group really worked on problems that people brought to it.
So, yes, I'd highly recommend it if you get a chance to do it, and I would also say it's worth sticking with it right to the end (espcially if you do the plus version and a TA comes) because the course gets better the more the participants are committed to it,

thederkinsdame Tue 20-Oct-09 14:38:54

I've found it useful, for the same reasons as pthers - meeting other parents in the same boat. It feels good t be in a room full of people who go 'oh, yeah, mine does that' rather than feeling like the odd one out all the time.

grumpyoldeeyore Tue 20-Oct-09 15:55:01

we're on it at the moment and it is nice to meet other parents - but the course is quite basic - some people got their diagnosis a year ago and frankly most of us have read more than the teachers. At the breaks we are all chatting about ABA -v Greenspan etc then we go back to the course which is largely based on Hanen - I think Hanen were going to sue them for ripping it off. We find it a bit rigid - the whole visual learner / theory of mind approach. Being NAS backed they won't venture in to talking about all the different therapies which is sort of where the argument in pre-school ASD is right now. I think its also hard if your child is the most severe in the group - we have 2 families whose children are really pretty mild - and 3 who are more moderate to severe, of which 1 is completely non verbal (but is the youngest) and I think that parent is finding it hard, even though I assure her thats where DS was 6 months ago. I'm sure we will get some ideas out of it but most of the tutors are from the LEA (outreach teachers) so they are restricted in how honest they can be. They have lots of anecdotes about children they have worked with which is useful. Our friend who has been on it before says when you see the videos you end up wondering how all the children have the same diagnosis because they are so different.

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