Working together, working with you

NAS EarlyBird Plus Programme

Early Bird Plus ProgrammeNAS EarlyBird Plus is a 3 month programme suitable for those whose child has received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder a little later – and is in Early Years or Key Stage One (aged over 4 and under 9 years).

To maximise consistent help for the child, the NAS EarlyBird Plus programme offers joint training to parents and a professional involved with the child. It is open to teams of 3 adults: parents or carers together with a professional – such as a SENCO (Special Needs Coordinator) or LSA (Learning Support Assistant) – who live or work with a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

EarlyBird does not offer a cure, but it does offer hope and a positive approach to parents and carers living with a child with autism spectrum disorder.

The NAS EarlyBird Plus programme consists of 8 group sessions, mixed with 2 home visit weeks, allowing you to individualise what you are learning. A follow-up session is held 3 months after the programme. A book for participating team members accompanies the programme and video and stories are used to illustrate the programme content. The programme uses an assorted collection of established good practice and encourages parents and professionals to learn together.

An information meeting is held for parents and professionals interested in applying for the NAS EarlyBird Plus programme. Dates for forthcoming programmes are available well in advance, to facilitate the planning of cover. A certificate is issued to all parents and professionals completing the programme, and can be used as evidence of continuing professional development.

NAS EarlyBird Plus: Overview

A programme for:

  • Teams of 3 adults: parents or carers, together with a professional (such as a LSA or SENCO) 
  • Those who live or work with a child having a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Those aged over 4 and under 9 years.
  • 3 to 6 families can participate in a programme (therefore a maximum of 18 adults – 6 children). The programmes are held over (approximately) 3 months, with a follow-up 3 months later.

Sessions are held weekly (with breaks for school holidays etc). Venues will be advised.

Outline of NAS EarlyBird Plus programme

  • Session 1: Understanding Autism
  • Session 2: Interpreting Communication
  • Session 3: Encouraging Interaction
  • Home Visit week
  • Session 4: Structuring Learning
  • Session 5: Analysing Behaviour
  • Session 6: Preventing Problems
  • Home Visit week
  • Session 7: Supporting Socialising
  • Session 8: Looking Ahead
  • Follow-up: 6 months later

Programme materials

The NAS EarlyBird Plus programme is supported by EarlyBird materials. A book, for participating team members, accompanies the programme and includes work sheets to help teams apply what is learned during group sessions to the individual child. Video clips are used throughout, together with real-life stories, to illustrate the content of the programme. The cost of the programme book is covered by our funding so that the course is free for parents or carers. 
Professionals are charged £37.50 for books. There are no other costs.

How to refer

Anyone can refer to either programme  - including parents. Please contact the appropriate programme Coordinator for the age of the child and provide:

  • Contact details
  • Child’s name
  • Age
  • Date of Birth
  • Parent(s) names and address
  • Phone number
  • School/nursery
  • Names of the professionals who have given the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

The programme Coordinator will then contact you.



EarlyBird Plus Coordinator

Lucy French
Speech & Language Therapist
Ilminster Avenue Specialist Nursery School & Childrens' Centre.
Throgmorton Road
Telephone: 0117 3408180
Mobile: 07726798317

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