The National Autistic Society (NAS) EarlyBird Programme is available in Dorset, currently at Westfield Arts College in Weymouth and Yewstock School in Sturminster Newton.

What is the NAS EarlyBird Programme?
The NAS EarlyBird Programme is a three-month parent programme that combines group-training sessions with home visits, tailored to each individual family.  Group sessions last two and a half hours.

Who runs the Programmes?
The Programmes are co-ordinated by Westfield Arts College, Weymouth, and delivered by teams of Licensed Trainers across Dorset.  Trainers are local professionals with experience and understanding of autistic spectrum disorders.  They have been trained to run the programme at the NAS EarlyBird Centre in South Yorkshire.

Who can attend the programme?
Families of a pre-school child with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder can attend the programme: two places are allocated to each family, six families at a time.  The programme is mainly offered to families within the Dorset County Council area.

What are the aims of the programme?
To empower parents / carers.
To support families in the period between diagnosis and full-time school placement.
To help establish good practice in these very important early years of development.

What will we learn about?
The NAS Early Bird programme will help you to:

  • understand your child’s autistic spectrum disorder
  • help develop your child’s communication
  • develop practical strategies to manage your child’s behaviour

Will the programme cure my child’s autism?
We do not offer a cure at EarlyBird BUT we do offer hope.


What do I do next?
Contact Caroline Hubbuck or Kate Flute at Westfield for more details, an information pack or an informal chat

Tel: 01305 833518
Mob: 07444836954
Fax: 01305 835414
Email office@westfield.dorset.sch.uk
or Email earlybird@westfield.dorset.sch.uk
NAS Website: www.autism.org.uk/earlybird

The Value of the EarlyBird Course

  • “That it is a brilliant course, it has helped us understand our son and his condition.  Helped us communicate and play with our son in a way that he would allow us to.  Join in with him rather than either play along side and not at all” (Mother)
  • “It is the best way to learn how to understand what your child is feeling / thinking and gives the tools required to help them to develop and cope with life” (Father)
  • “Good to see our hard work paying off when you don’t think it has been.  Actually seeing evidence and other people’s perspective on it also great.  Talking through this and getting help on other things by Earlybirds at home visits is a massive help” (Mother)