In support of World Autism Acceptance Week 2022 (28 March – 3 April), we are delighted to tell you about our fantastic upcoming training opportunity for you to become a Changing Conversations: Autism & Supporting Behaviour Ambassador.

The aim of the programme is to equip you to be Ambassadors for Changing Conversations when supporting families when they have concerns that their child may have autism.

This is a hosted event, and you will have the opportunity to network and share practice with HVs from other areas and organisations. The training is suitable for qualified health visitors with an interest in neurodiversity and supporting parents of autistic children. You will also be offered the opportunity to receive additional training to support you to:

  • share your learning with your health visitor colleagues.
  • enhance the support that health visitors offer to these families.

This one day Ambassador training event will equip HVs to act as advocates for parents with children who may be autistic. It will introduce resources including: Good Practice Points, Parent Tips, films, case studies, parent and child stories, along with collated research and literature to support a broader knowledge base and provide quality-assured resources that families can be signposted to. Finally, there is a PowerPoint Awareness session that Ambassadors can share with colleagues.

Objectives of the training

  • To raise awareness of the specific needs of families of children with autism
  • To understand what a child’s behaviour is communicating, and how to support families
  • To apply learning to wider early intervention with all families
  • To be aware of evidence-based practice for HVs in this subject
  • To be able to access resources to consolidate learning and support practice

Book your place today

Demand is high – so don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

Changing Conversations: Autism & Supporting Behaviour Ambassador Training

  • Date: 18 May 2022
  • Time: 09:00-16:30
  • Location: Online via Zoom

Cost: iHV Members: £200
Non-Members: £225

How to book

To apply, send your completed application form to [email protected]

Participant feedback:

“ Thank-you. The training was amazing.”

“The views and feeling of those with autism were insightful and useful. After all, who better to tell us what a lived experience is like than those living it!”

“I feel all health visiting and early years staff should attend this training. It can make a positive impact on practice”


“I was blown away by all the information in this toolkit. It really is going to be beneficial for myself and my colleagues to use”

“The information contained in this kit is very informative and has changed my practice, just what we need to support children with autism”


“I feel more confident to offer parents possible strategies to cope with their child’s distressed behaviour”

“I will be listening better to parents when they share concerns and try to unpick with them more what they are experiencing with their child”

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), working together with the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF), The Sleep Charity and parents/carers, is delighted to share an animation for health, education and social care professionals to raise awareness and understanding of behaviour in the early years, what restrictive practice looks like in the under 5s, and the importance of respectful, behavioural support strategies that safeguard the rights of young children with disabilities.

This co-produced animation shares the voices of parents/ carers through one family’s journey. This new animation aims to help inform the practice of all professionals when supporting families to aid understanding of behaviour. The animation is supported by a range of new resources specifically for health visitors that collate information about understanding behaviour and using appropriate interventions, and to offer alternatives to restrictive practices. To find out more about these resources and accompanying training to support practice please contact [email protected] .

Vicky Gilroy, Head of Projects at iHV, said:

“Health visitors are often the first person that families turn to when they are struggling with their child’s behaviour. However, identifying, understanding and supporting non-restrictive practice is not part of a health visitor’s general training and there are few resources available for health visitors to help them in this specific aspect of their role. Developing evidence-based resources for health visitors will support health visitors and their teams to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in identifying and supporting children and their parents in this area of practice.”

Gemma Grant, Children & Young People Policy Lead at the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said:

“Children who have a developmental delay are more likely to display behaviours that challenge. Health visitors have a key role in supporting families in the early years and offer trusted advice on how best to respond to the challenges parents face. We are delighted to support the launch of this animation which will equip health visitors with the knowledge to support families to understand behaviour, reduce the use of restrictive practices and ensure children with developmental disabilities get the best start in life.”

This project, supported by a grant from The Burdett Trust for Nursing, aimed to raise health visitors’ awareness of the practical and ethical issues of restrictive and restraining practices in the early years and to promote the importance of respectful, behavioural support strategies that safeguard the rights of young children with disabilities. Improving health visitors’ awareness and confidence in this area of their work will enable them to support and encourage parents to implement behavioural strategies with their children from an early age and avoid restrictive practices which can become difficult to change once embedded.