Children with autism (0 - 4 years old)
Many children with a diagnosis of autism attend their local childcare provision. Support and training is available for the setting from Herefordshire Council's early years advisory team. Specialist group sessions and family support are also available at the Child Development Centre at Ross Road, Hereford.
Child Development Centre: Communication and social interaction difficulties group (COSI)
If your child is within the pre-school year and has been diagnosed with autism, you can access the COSI group. The group is designed to provide intervention in meeting the needs of children which arise from their autism, including difficulties with communication, social interaction and play. A variety of approaches are applied which include intensive interaction, TEACCH (Teaching, expanding, appreciating, collaborating and co-operating, holistic) and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) within a structured and communication friendly environment. Children are reviewed termly and support and advice is provided to parents.
The child's transition into school is supported through the group in liaison with pre-schools, schools and parents.
Herefordshire Council has published an Autism Strategy which sets out long term plans with and on behalf of people of all ages with autism and their family carers.
Further support can also be provided through the following organisations:
- The National Autistic Society (NAS)
- Autism West Midlands
- NCB early support - information about ASD
- Early bird programme for parents of a pre-school child with a diagnosis of autism