There has been a recent increase in awareness of the need for timely and appropriate diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in girls and young women. Without such a diagnosis and the relevant support systems being put in place, young women are at high risk of developing mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders.
The 30-session programme is in three sections: Me & My Mental Health; Relationships & Communication Skills; My Toolkit for Wellbeing & Future Health and aims to ensure that girls can and do develop good mental health, including appropriate levels of autonomy, emotional resilience and open communication.
Care has been taken to ensure that the activities are ASD friendly through the use of explicit aims, reinforcement, clear language, concrete examples, role play, structure and routine, and a focus on self-awareness. This resource also includes a comprehensive PowerPoint Training Session for staff and carers.
The activities will:
- Promote personal and social skills development
- Develop self-esteem and self-awareness
- Empower the exploration of the many aspects of sexuality and healthy personal relationships
- Encourage personal responsibility for keeping both mind and body safe and healthy
- Enable evaluation and confidential access to local and national sources of information, support and advice
The sessions address contemporary issues that are relevant to young people, including:
- Consent, safety & the law in relationships
- Body image & obesity
- Self-respect & aspiration
- Stress & anxiety
- Influence of the media
- Self-harming behaviours
- Using CBT & Mindfulness
- The range of sexual attitudes, relationships & behaviours in society
- The use of psychoactive substances (legal highs) & performance (steroids) and image enhancing substances
- Understanding & strengthening intergenerational relationships