|1||Introduction||Exploration of autism and autism stigma. Autism myths and stereotypes will be challenged through psychoeducation and a group discussion about common stereotypes.||
To make introductions and provide an overview of the sessions.|
To increase knowledge about autism.
To reduce feelings of self-blame and increase self-esteem.
|2||Coping with autism stigma||
Group discussions of experiences of stigma using quotes from other parents.|
“How would you treat a friend” exercise.
|To develop skills how to recognise and cope with stigma and to prevent internalising stigma.|
|3||Positive meaning of caregiving||
Video clips of parents of autistic children showing how having an autistic child has changed them. Group discussion based on that.|
Free sharing time.
|To increase the positive meaning associated with the caregiving role and increase self-compassion.|
|4||Resilience & self-esteem||Group task to work together to find “key phrases and responses” to stigmatising situations.||
To increase resilience and increase self-esteem.|
To reduce social isolation and increase feeling of belonging.
|5||Social support||Stress the importance of social support and discuss together how social support could be utilised and or improved.||To stress the importance of social support to help reduce social isolation.|
|6||Compassion & acceptance||
Discuss the importance of self-care and self-compassion as well as acceptance of the child.|
Use video clips of how other parents have achieved this.
|To increase feelings of self-compassion and acceptance.|
|7||Coping with autism stigma part 2.||
Discuss the automatic thought cycle (self-fulfilling prophecy).|
Group discussion on how we can break this cycle.
|To further develop skills how to recognise and cope with stigma and prevent internalisation of stigma|
|8||Next steps||Group discussions on how to disclose the diagnosis to others and to provide list of support for future.||To further increase self-esteem and reduce social isolation To conclude the sessions and provide “next steps” for future reference|
|9||Focus group||Group discussion evaluating SOLACE||To evaluate the acceptability and practicality of SOLACE and the outcome measures.|