A PROGRAMME has been launched to help prevent mental health problems in children who also suffer from autism.

The sessions will provide parents and carers of children with autism with information and skills to support their children.

Up to 71 per cent of children with autism also suffer from mental health problems and the sessions aim to try and pre-empt and prevent a large number of these problems.

The Early Bird Centre will train and license autism professionals to offer the programme to local families. 

The sessions will help parents and carers to understand mental health issues and give them strategies to support their children to build self-esteem, increase confidence, reduce anxiety and develop resistance.

Jo Stevens, Director of the NAS Early Bird Centre, said: “Far too many children with autism struggle with mental health conditions across the UK. This is deeply saddening, especially when these issues are often preventable.

“We’ve already been inundated with requests from parents looking for advice on how to help their children and are hoping to support families a year through our professional licensed training programme.”

The programme was launched last Monday at the EarlyBird Centre on Barnsley Road, Dodworth.