the birthday party:

A film about the signs of autism in children.

We are delighted to share with you The Birthday Party a training film for professionals. The film was produced as a partnership project between government, university and clinical partners and has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Welsh Government.

Who is the film for?

The film has been designed to help front-line professionals to identify the signs of autism in children. We designed it to be suitable for professionals working in education, health-care and social services, as a supplement to a training session. No background knowledge or training is required before viewing the film.

The purpose of the film is to help increase awareness in professionals and especially for flagging up concerns that may be relevant for referral. In a training session the film can be paused to facilitate further discussion with a trainer.  The discussion can be about variation in how the signs may present and how the signs form a pattern or cluster to look out for.

Why is the film freely available if it is meant to be used for professional training?

After we finished making the film we gathered the views of 200 professionals and 100 parents. The vast majority gave us feedback that the film could be useful not only in a training session but also on its own and also said that the film could be useful to everyone, not just to professionals only.

What is the film about?

The film describes the signs of autism seen in three children at a birthday party. The message of the film is that the same signs can show themselves in different ways. Because of these differences, sometimes the signs can be easy to miss. The signs can also be common in children without autism too so it is important to look for the pattern in which they present.

Two of the children in the film, Jack and Rhys are boys and one, Amy, is a girl. All are quite different and while Amy shows a different profile from both the two boys, this profile is not intended to show a ‘typical’ female profile of ASD; each child is unique, regardless of their gender. No two girls and no two boys will have an identical presentation of the signs.

We hope you find the film useful. We welcome your feedback. If you would like to provide any feedback, please complete the form below and click on 'submit' button.  NB. We are thinking of preparing guidance points on how the film could be used during training. If you think this is a good idea let us know.  For permission to use the film in your own training, please write to us using the comment box.

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If you would like to read more about how we came to make this film, then please click here.

Further information