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  • Help and support

A wellbeing project

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Need

Children in the city with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) need better play provision and more opportunities to interact with other children. Parents and carers feel isolated and would like more contact with other parents of children with an ASD.

Evidence

The information provided below is an example. When referring to consultation or research, you should include dates to show when it took place (ideally within the last two years to ensure it is up to date) and clarify the source of the evidence.

The Play for Kids Company carried out a consultation at a stakeholder event in June 2011. 50 parents of children with ASD identified that there is limited play provision in the area. Therefore they were concerned about the social skills and interaction of their children. Parents also expressed concerns about limited support networks.

An audit of existing play provision completed in November 2011 by Millnock Council notes the lack of facilities for children with ASD.

Research from Newcastle University in 2011 has identified that children with ASD have a better quality of life when they interact with peers without ASD, and parents feel more supported through interaction with other parents of children with ASD.

>20 staff and volunteers (including teaching assistants) in local primary and special schools, volunteers on play schemes, and play rangers were consulted by the Play for Kids Company in January 2012.  They were asked about their confidence in supervising children with ASD to interact with their peers and providing advice on integrated play to parents. Of those consulted, 16 said they would appreciate more advice and guidance on the issue.

The need for the project is reflected in specific parts of the Government's Valuing People strategy which sets out to improve support and opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

The overall aim for the project

To increase access to play provision for children with ASD and allow children with ASD to integrate with their peers (without ASD) and benefit from specialist support and services.

Outcome(s) for the project

Children with ASD will have improved confidence and social skills, and better integration with their peers. Staff and volunteers will have greater understanding of the difficulties faced by children with ASD. They will also be more confident providing guidance to parents and carers. Parents of children with ASD will feel less isolated and better supported through sharing their experiences

Tracking progress


Outcome Indicator Indicator level Timescale
Children with ASD will have improved confidence and social skills, allowing better integration with peers Number of children with ASD having increased interaction with peers and displaying more confidence Number of children with increased interaction with peers as observed by staff: 15 Annually
    Number of children with increased confidence and social skills as observed by staff: 10 By the end of year two
    Total number of children with increased interaction with peers as observed by staff: 45 By the end of the project
Staff and volunteers will have greater understanding of the difficulties faced by children with ASD and are more confident in providing guidance to parents and carers Level of understanding of staff and volunteers about the difficulties faced by children with ASD 5 staff and representatives from 3 stakeholders reporting increased understanding of the issues faced by children with ASD Annually
    15 staff and representatives from 9 stakeholders reporting they feel more confident in advising parents and carers By the end of the project
Parents of children with ASD will feel less isolated and more supported through sharing their experiences Levels of support for parents with ASD 12 parents of children will become involved in peer support groups Annually
    24 parents of children with ASD will report feeling less isolated By the end of the project
    A total of 35 parents of children with ASD will report feeling more supported By the end of the project


Activities

  • Recruit and train staff
  • Set up play centre and install equipment
  • Hold launch event with five stakeholder organisations and 30 parents
  • Hold 4 parent seminars per year
  • Provide training for two parents per year on setting up peer support groups
  • Hold three awareness raising information sessions with volunteers, staff and stakeholders. This will include schools, play schemes and play rangers

Learning

The project found that by the end of year one only a few children without ASD attended the play facilities. Therefore it was not possible to achieve the outcome on increasing interaction with peers. In year two, priority was given to marketing the play provision to a wide range of parents as well as encouraging attendance by siblings of children with ASD where appropriate.

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