Barnardos offer helping hand for parents of autistic children

Parents of children with autism can often feel isolated and overwhelmed but a specialist course run by Barnardo's Cymru and Newport City Council is helping families to cope. The Cygnet Programme runs at Serennu and looks to support parents, grandparents, teaching assistants and other carers of autistic children aged 5 to 18, who live in Newport.

After a diagnosis, parents and carers may have many questions and may feel isolated in managing their child's needs. Attending Cygnet gives parents and carers an opportunity to develop their understanding of autism and look at practical solutions to managing behaviour.

One mum with an eight-year-old son said: "We had a really difficult year last year and I felt I was losing my little boy, he was shutting himself off from the world. This year he is much happier and I think the Cygnet course is extremely helpful. It has been good to get ideas from other parents too." A Teaching assistant who also attended the course said "It has been really beneficial for me to understand the parent's side of things, what they are going through. I've been on a lot of courses to learn about behaviour but what's lovely about this one is that everyone joins in, shares ideas and you don't feel alone.  It is also really good that the school and the home can work together with teachers and parents using the same strategies."

If you live in Newport and would like further information regarding the Cygnet Programme. please contact Meryl Aitkin on 01633 851782.