Most parents tell us they want to be able to understand their child. School is one of the main areas where parents seek help and advice. The National Autistic Society have been supporting autism experienced professionals to offer parent programmes to families in their local area since 1998.

Teen Life is a programme that aims to empower parents and support professionals to understand more about how autism is experienced by autistic teenagers. It reinforces useful strategies and ideas of how to support the autistic person through their teen years.

Autism experienced professionals can undertake a two-day Licensed User training course so they can deliver our six-session autism specific Teen Life programme locally. Teen Life is designed to meet the needs of those who have very little previous autism knowledge as well as those who already have a good understanding.

What a course! I would strongly recommend this programme. I have gained so much knowledge and confidence that I am ready to face the future a lot more positively.

Course attendee

One of the key principles of the programme is autistic perspectives, with autistic and neurotypical (non-autistic) people involved in the content development and review. Throughout the programme, we use a variety of resources from autistic people to try and provide valuable insight into being on the spectrum. As an example, we look at these Tweets from October 2016 in response to the hashtag #autismis:

Autism graphic

Other topics that we look at on the programme include self-esteem, spending time with other people, stress and anxiety, understanding your diagnosis, intense interests and puberty.

Another specific topic that we look at is intense interests which autistic people may have and how these can be a source of enjoyment or a way of coping with everyday life. We look at the importance of understanding the interests, recognise how important they are for people and what to do if you are worried about an interest.

For more information about the Teen Life Programme and potentially becoming licensed to deliver it within your own area, visit our EarlyBird training page.