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Courses for parents and carers

Here are some examples of where you and your family can get some training to better understand and support a child with additional needs.

This list is just a start. It includes some common areas of concern for families.

Please note: The information on this page is provided for reference purposes only. It is not intended as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications or abilities of any individual or organisation listed. Inclusion in this article does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation; nor does omission imply disapproval.

More events and services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.


Sheffield Parent Carer Forum organises workshops on topics of general interest to parent carers, e.g. disability benefits, dealing with sleep problems, anti-bullying, dealing with stress etc. Also runs sessions in conjunction with the SLT Service on speech and language topics, e.g. introduction to Makaton, Social Stories, using apps, making visual resources to help your child communicate, supporting speech sounds, etc.

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities aged 0-25 years

Access: Self-referral

More information: | 0300 321 4721 |


Bents Green Specialist Secondary School runs workshops on various topics related to children’s education and wellbeing, e.g. emotional wellbeing and executive functioning, reading and literacy skills.

Duration: Mostly half-day conferences, e.g. 9am-12.30pm

Cost: £10 for parents, family members and carers

Audience: Most workshops cover support for all phases and abilities of children

Access: Self-referral

More information: |


Sheffield City Council’s Parenting Team run Triple P Stepping Stones, a specialist programme to build parents’ skills for promoting the development, social competence and self-control of children with disabilities.

Duration: 10-12 weeks, weekly sessions lasting 2.5 hours

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents of disabled children aged 0-12

Access: Referral from an allocated professional, e.g. MAST worker, social worker, healthcare professional

More information: | 0114 2057243 |


Family Action runs the Managing ADHD Groups.

Duration: Weekly 2-hour sessions for 8 weeks

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents of children and young people newly diagnosed with ADHD

Access: Self-referral or referral from a clinician or support worker

More information: | 07587 633179 |


The Neurodisability Service at Ryegate runs Autism post-diagnosis workshops for parents. These cover the basics of autism and some strategies for dealing with difficulties.

Duration: 2x 2.5-3 hour workshops

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents of children newly diagnosed with autism, from pre-school age up to 16 years

Access: Parents are invited to book onto this workshop following an autism diagnosis.


The Autism Education Team runs the Cygnet Programme, an autism-specific parenting course.

Duration: 7 half-day sessions (1 morning per week), plus 1 follow-up session after 3 months 

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents with a child with a diagnosis of autism aged 5-18 years. Courses are based in localities.

Access: Referral from child’s SENCO

More information: | 0114 2736567 (helpline, staffed Mon-Thu, 1-4pm)


Asperger’s Children and Carers Together (ACCT) run occasional workshops on a range of topics, e.g. Positive Behaviour Management. They also run quarterly parents’ meetings, some of which have guest speakers.

Duration: 5 hours (workshops); 2 hours (parents’ meetings)

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents of children with Asperger’s / high-functioning autism who are ACCT members

Access: Self-referral

More information: |0114 2230242 |


The Occupational Therapy Service runs Sensory workshops at Ryegate and in special schools.

Duration: 2x 90 minutes

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents of children with autism

Access: Referral by Ryegate clinician


The Neurodisability Psychology Team at Ryegate runs workshops on Emotional Regulation and Social Stories.

Duration: 2x 2.5-3 hour workshops

Cost: Free

Audience: Emotional Regulation: Parents of school-age children with autism who require additional support due to anxiety/anger/emotional regulation difficulties. Social Stories: Parents of children with a diagnosis of autism or learning disability of any age

Access: Referral by Neurodisability Paediatrician. Parents must have attended the general Autism workshop first.

Learning disability

Sheffield Mencap and Gateway and the Sharing Caring Project run occasional workshops on topics such as Wills and Trusts, Mental Capacity Act, disability benefits, housing, etc.

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: Free

Audience: Family carers of people with a learning disability and/or autism

Access: Self-referral

More information: | 0114 2758879 |

Mental health difficulties

The Clinical Psychology Team at Ryegate runs workshops within specific clinical pathways, e.g. on Emotional Regulation or Social Stories.

Duration: Various

Cost: Free

Audience: Parents of children and young people within specific clinical pathways

Access: Referral from a Ryegate clinician


Pontes Training run basic mental health training for parents and carers. Topics: mental health and mental illness, depression and anxiety, self harm and eating disorder, suicide and psychosis

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: £10 per session or £35 for 4 sessions

Audience: Parents

Access: Self-referral

More information: | 07401 98079 |

Speech, language and communication needs

The Speech and Language Therapy Service runs 1:1 and group sessions within specific clinical pathways, aimed at developing parents’ skills and strategies. These may include: Early Language groups, Rhythm and Rhyme, Phonology.

Duration: Varies

Cost: May have a small cost

Audience: Parents of children with speech, language and communication needs

Access: Referral by speech and language therapist


See also General – Sheffield Parent Carer Forum.

Last Updated: 29/04/2019
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