Norland and the Transforming Autism Project (TAP) have announced they are collaborating on a research project which will develop a therapeutic framework and a monitoring and evaluation system for TAP’s new Family Services.

The Transforming Autism Project is a young and pioneering charity with a mission to change the way we conceive of autism and to roll out new approaches to supporting autistic children and their families.

TAP’s Family Services is a family visitation programme, in which a specialist child therapist visits the family and works directly with the autistic child and their parents. It takes a psychotherapeutic approach, focusing on reducing the – often ignored – elements of anxiety and overstimulation experienced by autistic children. The service aims at creating emotionally safe environments and building trust-based relationships between the child, their parents, and members of family to maximise the child’s opportunity for development and to minimise triggers of anxiety of anxiety, equipping both the child and parents with skills required to maintain such an environment.

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“We are pleased that this project will help to increase our contribution to the evidence base in the early years sector, which in turn will inform our programmes of study.”

The objectives of this research project are to develop:

  • a framework for TAP’s Family Services, based on the latest scientific and research evidence;
  • a monitoring and evaluation framework, system, and relevant tools.

Guy Shahar, CEO and founder of the Transforming Autism Project, said: “Like many parents of autistic children, I know very well what it feels like to be left with little meaningful support or guidance in raising an autistic child. There is a real gap in the support available to parents in terms of being able to manage daily life with their children. Providing precisely this kind of support is the idea behind the Parent-Child at-home service.”

“I know very well from personal experience the potential that these types of services have to transform the lives of autistic children and their families. Developing a therapeutic framework and a robust monitoring and evaluation system will allow us to test and demonstrate the impact we can have, and allow us to further develop this vital work. I’m really pleased we’ve been able to join forces with the fantastic team at Norland to deliver this.”

Dr Janet Rose, Principal of Norland, said: “We’re delighted to be working with TAP on this research project. The Family Services project is an inclusion project focusing on young children and their families, which are core elements of Norland’s programmes of study. Supporting pioneering work and collaborating with charity organisations like TAP, is central to our charitable and research purpose and aims. We are pleased that this project will help to increase our contribution to the evidence base in the early years sector, which in turn will inform our programmes of study.”

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