Our Support for Families of Autistic Children

Maria Hamilton, a Senior Social Worker in Catholic Care’s Schools, Children and Family Wellbeing Service, gives us an insight into her work with autistic people …

As part of my role in our charity, I co-deliver the Cygnet Parenting Support Programme with my lovely colleague Mandy!

Parenting is a journey filled with happiness, triumphs, and challenges. For parents and caregivers of autistic children, this journey comes with joys of course! But also unique experiences and obstacles.

That’s where the Cygnet programme steps in, offering a beacon of guidance and support.

Designed for parents and carers of autistic children and young people aged 5-18, Cygnet provides a nurturing environment for individuals to deepen their understanding of autism and explore practical strategies to support their child’s development.

We recognise the diverse spectrum of challenges faced by parents of autistic children. From navigating communication hurdles to addressing sensory sensitivities, the Cygnet programme offers parents the opportunity to understand the world from their child’s point of view. It empowers parents with tools and resources tailored to their child’s needs.

One of the most invaluable aspects of Cygnet is the opportunity for parents to connect with others who share similar experiences. Through shared stories and mutual support, participants forge meaningful connections in an informal yet supportive atmosphere. These connections foster a sense of community, reminding parents that they are not alone on this journey.

The response we have received from this programme has been overwhelmingly positive. One participant shared “My knowledge of autism has increased by 100%, it has been a very powerful, informative and emotive experience.” Another stated “Cygnet has been great, a huge help for all of us as a family!”

If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about Cygnet Parenting Programme, it would be great to hear from you. Please contact me.