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Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS)

Information about E-PAtS, a programme for families raising a young child with a learning disability.

Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) is an 8-week programme for families raising a young child (five years and under) with a learning and/or developmental disability. It was developed by the Tizard Centre with family carers with input from other key stakeholder including CBF.   

Sessions are run by 2 facilitators (one family carer and one professional) who both have experience of working with, or parenting, children with a learning and/or developmental disability.

Read more about E-PAtS

Researchers want to run a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) to measure if E-PAtS benefits families, compared to the support that is typically available to families of young children with learning and/or developmental disabilities. Before this, it was necessary to run a feasibility study to test whether a large RCT can be done in the future (like a rehearsal for a future larger research study).   The feasibility study ran from 2018 to 2020.  CBF supported a family carer advisory group, to ensure all stages of the research were informed by families with relevant lived experience.  We are grateful to all the family carers who took part.  A summary of the project can be found here and a short video of the findings can be viewed below. The study found that an RCT would be feasible and identified lots of practical understanding about how it might work. 

Cumbria early intervention pilot

Cumbria early intervention pilot

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation and the Tizard Centre worked with colleagues leading the Transforming Care workforce strategy in Cumbria to pilot an evidence-based early intervention approach in the county. This was a new approach, not seen anywhere else in the UK.

Early intervention

Early intervention

The CBF has produced various information resources showing how early intervention using methods, such as Positive Behaviour Support, can reduce the severity and frequency of challenging behaviour and improve quality of life.