Coronavirus: Extra support for Peterborough families with autistic children

Extra support is on offer for Peterborough families who are supporting a child with autism as the rules on lockdown ease.
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Charity Pinpoint Cambridgeshire works with families who have children with additional needs and disabilities. In partnership with Peterborough-based autism consultant Elisa Ferriggi of Think Autism, three online sessions are being made available for free.

The first two sessions are available to watch online at:

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The final session, which focuses on easing out of lockdown, is being held on June 1 at 8pm on Facebook at:

Elisa FerriggiElisa Ferriggi
Elisa Ferriggi

Elisa, who has 15 years’ experience supporting people with autism, has helped many families navigate changes in circumstance over the years – from a house move to a change in school. She said: “Change is difficult to manage for many of us, and when you’re supporting a young person with autism it can be even more challenging.

“Of course autism is a spectrum, every person is different, so there isn’t one golden rule to follow. Instead. there are techniques, approaches and strategies that can be employed to find the best way to manage for each individual or family unit.”

The Easing Out of Lockdown online session will cover:

. New found habits created during lockdown and those lost

. Anxieties around coming out of lockdown and returning to the new ‘normal’

. How to prepare for more uncertainty

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. Transferring the positive experiences and learning from the challenges.

CEO of Pinpoint Cambridgeshire, Sarah Conboy, knows first-hand how difficult the current situation can be for families. She said: “This is a challenging time for all parents and even more so for parents of children with additional needs.

“We are doing our best to continue our support to those who need us and these virtual sessions are a key part of that. You can either join this session live or access all three to rewatch.”

Elisa is also calling for people in Peterborough to be more aware and understanding of autism as the UK eases out of lockdown. “It’s vital we all do our bit to support parents and children with autism, particularly when circumstances are changing such a lot. I’m asking people to remember that:

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. people with autism sometimes behave in an unpredictable way, this is because they find it difficult to cope in dynamic situations that cause uncertainty.

. a person with autism is NOT being naughty or rude. They may not have the foundational skills they need to cope in a situation and so their development may represent that of a young child at times.

. autism is NOT caused by poor parenting. Raising a child on the spectrum poses many more challenges than raising a child not on the spectrum and parents are doing the best they can in a challenging situation.”