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Learn more about autism

The Rainbow Parent Course

The Rainbow Parent Course is an interactive eight-week course exploring autism, aimed at parents and carers who want to understand more about ASD and connect with others having similar experiences.

The Rainbow Parent Course is an eight-week interactive course for parents and carers of children who have recently received a diagnosis of autism, or are on the diagnosis journey. It has been designed for parents and carers of children between the ages of three to twelve years of age.

The aims of this course are to:

  • Learn from each other in a supportive environment.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of autism.
  • Solve problems together and learn about practical strategies to support your child.

The course has been written and developed by Hazel Smee and Angie Purdy, independent specialist teachers and consultants for children and young people with autism. All of the course leads have previously been specialist teachers for autism within Essex Local Authority, and are passionate about supporting children and young people with autism and their families. The team present the Rainbow Parent Course through live online sessions, with places limited to twelve screens to give attendees the best opportunity to learn from each other and network with parents who are going through similar experiences. Two family members are able to attend on the same screen, allowing you to learn from the course with a partner, friend, or support worker.

"Through the course we have found the chance to meet other parents during the sessions who are in similar situations has been a great help, just to discuss issues and similarities has been comforting."

Peter & Sarah

We provide recommended resources for you to access for each session, including videos, useful links, and written content collated to encourage wider reading and show the breadth of resources available.

All information that you choose to share during the course will be treated in the utmost confidence by the course organisers - we aim to establish a safe space where all attendees feel supported and able to address any concerns or questions they may have.

Before the course begins, we begin by gathering some information to help us make our sessions together as helpful and supportive as we can. These questions cover details about the child's age, diagnosis, communication / language skills, and sensory sensitivities, as well as offering you the opportunity to say what you hope to take away from the course, and any specific topics that you would like covered during the eight weeks. In our 'Over to you' session at the end of the course, you will have the space to ask any questions and raise topics that may not have been covered, allowing you to get as much as possible from your time with us.

Course content includes:

Week One: Exploring Autism

Building on your understanding of your child

Week Two: The world through their eyes

How to help your child make sense of what is going on around them

Week Three: The art of communication

Understanding your child’s communication skills and how to support them

Week Four: Being social

How to support your child’s social understanding

Week Five: Sensational senses

Exploring differences in sensory processing and what it means for your child

Week Six: Nurturing well-being and emotional regulation

Anxiety and helping your child understand how they feel

Week Seven: Behaviour as communication

Making sense of the tricky bits

Week Eight: Over to you

A bespoke session covering topics not covered in other sessions and decided by the group

"Angie and Hazel are exceptional and their Rainbow Parent Course is the best course I have ever accessed in 20 years of teaching... their experience of what works is invaluable and this is reflected in the outcomes, not just for our daughter, but for our family."

Jane

Pricing Information

Eight week Rainbow Parent Course attendance: one screen (up to two participants) - £400

A deposit of £50 must be paid to secure the booking, after which time the full cost of the assessment should be paid no later than 7 days prior to the appointment. Should you need to cancel for any reason, a refund will be offered if we are informed 7 or more days prior to the appointment. However, there will be a cancellation fee of 50% which will be deducted from your refund total. We must be notified of all cancellations no later than 48 hours before the appointment. All cancellations made within 48 hours of the first session will not be offered a refund. This includes non-attendance at the first session.

If you have any questions about the Rainbow Parent Course and the dates of the next courses, please get in touch with one of our friendly support team.

Find out more:
The Rainbow Parent Course
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Meet our team

Viv MacMillan  Specialist Teacher and Consultant
Viv is a specialist teacher and consultant for children and young people with autism. Viv has worked with schools and families supporting children with autism since 2004. She has a wide experience of delivering training and is part of the team who deliver the Rainbow Parent Course.
Angie Purdy  Specialist Teacher and Consultant
Angie is a specialist teacher and consultant for children and young people with autism. Angie has worked with schools and families supporting children and young people with autism since 2007. She has a wide experience of delivering training and has developed and leads the eight-week Rainbow Parent Course with her colleague Hazel Smee.
Hazel Smee  Specialist Teacher and Consultant
Hazel is a specialist teacher and consultant for children and young people with autism. Hazel has worked with schools and families supporting children and young people with autism since 2006. She has a wide experience of delivering training and has developed and leads the eight-week Rainbow Parent Course with her colleague Angie Purdy.
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