Westmead Feelings Program
The Westmead Feelings Program is an emotion-based learning program for autistic children.
The Westmead Feelings Program is a suite of therapeutic materials that health, education and disability professionals can use to support autistic children, and develop cultures of emotional learning around the child by providing parents and teachers with skills to be emotion coaches at home and school.
There are two programs for parents, carers and health professionals who work with autistic children that focus on skill development in children to understand and manage emotions such as anxiety and anger.
Michelle Wong (PhD/DCP), Clinical Psychologist and Founder of the Westmead Feelings Program, tells Mathew's story;
When I started working with Mathew, a five-year-old autistic child, he was about to start school. He could not sit with other children at storytime because he felt crowded in and was too anxious. Mathew did not know what to say to other children or how they felt and would get frustrated and angry as a result and run out of the classroom. Over time, I worked with Mathew, his family and school to develop his emotional skills. I saw Mathew in 2021 for our annual review. He is now 25 years old, is about to graduate from postgraduate studies at university, has a full-time job in finance, and has his first girlfriend.
This training equips and certifies you to deliver the Westmead Feelings Program in your own health setting. Suitable for teachers, special educators, psychologists and allied health and disability practitioners.
Ready to register?
- Register for Facilitator Certification Course 1 (for autistic children with a mild intellectual disability)
- Register for Facilitator Certification Course 2 (for autistic children with no intellectual disability)
In 2019, the Westmead Feelings Program team received an Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) Advancement award, for improving the lives of autistic people.
Downloadable resources for parents and professionals
The Westmead Feelings Program team have developed emotion development resources to assist parents, allied health professionals and educators to develop individual and meaningful emotion-based goals for the children and young people that they support. These resources include:
- The Emotions Development Questionnaire (EDQ) - an assessment measure that can be used as a pre and post program evaluation tool. The EDQ is one of the measures utilised by the research team in the Westmead Feelings Program.
- Identifying Emotion Skill Goals worksheet - a worksheet that can help in the initial identification of emotion development skills in autistic children and young people.
- Emotion Development Goal Setting scale - a tool that can assist in developing Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) goals for emotion skill development across a range of settings.