A grateful parent has praised Wearside’s Autism Outreach team for the way they helped her son cope with his diagnosis.
The reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, put the team based at Columbia Grange School in Washington, forward for a Best of Wearside Community Group of the Year Award.
Autism Outreach helps families across Wearside who have a family member diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by supporting children, sharing good practice and delivering training to parents and staff.
Now the work of the team has been hailed by parents as a vital part in helping families to deal with an autism diagnosis.
One parent who put the course forward for the accolade said: “Had it not been for Claire and her amazing team at Austim Outreach, we would have struggled massively in learning how to cope and implement strategies to help with the basic day-to-day things that most people do.
“After my son’s diagnosis we were invited to do an Early Bird course- this is a six week programme delivered free by the team at Autism Outreach- and because of this our difficult times are made that little bit easier.
“This course was so vital into helping us deal with my son’s diagnosis and the early interventions help and strategies that are taught are invaluable.
“Even long after the course the team there are still on hand with any hints and tips and ideas that can help and they provide resources for families as well as professional knowledge that is unrivalled anywhere else in the area.
“The team are a true credit to our area and they deserve much more in terms of recognition for the incredible work that they do.”
Claire Tubman, 36, from Washington, is a higher level specialist support worker for the team, which is lead by Rosey Walker. She was delighted with the nomination.
She said: “The service covers all of Sunderland and supports children who have been referred to us with an autism diagnosis.
“We provide training for staff and parents in schools and run clubs and groups for the children.
“It is lovely to be nominated and we are really pleased that parents have taken the time to do that.
“It seems that the training we provide has been helpful to her.
“We just hope to help all of the families that need a bit of extra support.”
Now comes the search for this year’s champions.
The Best of Wearside Awards 2016 are under way and sponsors are Calsonic Kansei, Gentoo, Vantec, Station Taxis, TWR, and Sunderland Live.
This year’s categories are; Green Champion; Student of the Year; Fundraiser of the Year; Volunteer of the Year; Sporting Achievement; Community Group; Community Champion; Local Hero; Child of Achievement; and Child of Courage.
To nominate, just send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable.
Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.
Send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email.
Send all to Lynn Wild by 5pm on Friday, December 30, 2016, Email those entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland,DH4 5RA.