Groups at the Child Development Centre

We have a number of groups running at the Child Development Centre. These are run in person and virtually, both with set dates and groups that you can do in your own time. Please read on for more information...

Developing Your Behaviour Toolkit

Is a workshop which has been developed to support the parents and carers of young people with a special educational need or disability. It is led by the team at Plymouth Child Development Centre and has been supported by Plymouth Parent Carer Voice, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Excellence Cluster.

The workshop is suitable for the parents and carers of young people with a range of needs, regardless of whether a specific diagnosis has been given. This could include Autistic young people, those diagnosed as ADHD or learning differences. However, a diagnosis is not required to access this workshop. Our workshop may not be suitable where you have been given a different understanding of the behaviour presented by your child, such as difficulties with attachment.

We hope to be able to offer much more through a workshop than we would be able to in an individual clinic appointment. We are able to share a range of resources and strategies, as well as offering an opportunity to reflect on your individual plan.  At present, this workshop is only available in an online format.  You are able to access all of our resources online through a series of narrated videos, supported by our comprehensive workbook.  This will support you in creating a plan which is individual for your child.

Within the workshop we aim to –

  • Develop understanding of behaviour and, importantly, the reasons young people may use behaviour as a form of communication.
  • Share strategies which can be used to promote positive behaviour. The focus is very much on just this – promoting positive behaviour – rather than how to respond to unwanted behaviour, although this does form part of the workshop. We do this because there is wide-ranging evidence which shows us that promoting positive behaviour is far more effective in creating a sustainable change.

The strategies we share will form part of your toolkit – some of the tools you will find are helpful now, and some may be helpful in the future. However, our aim is that we aren’t just responding to any challenges you are facing today. We are giving you tools and information which you can continue to use as your child grows and their strengths & needs change.

To access the workshop, contact the team via

Circle of Security Parenting

Circle is a relationship based parenting approach – providing you with the tools to develop a stronger relationship with your child. The Circle of Security® Parenting™ program is based on decades of research about how secure caregiver-child relationships can be supported and strengthened.

The Circle of security is a program for any caregiver, as it focuses on the relationships that give children emotional support. The Circle of Security is a way of thinking about children that enables us to look beyond the children’s immediate behaviour and think about how to meet their relationship needs. It teaches us how to be Bigger Stronger, Wiser and Kind, whenever possible follow our child’s need, but wherever necessary to take charge.

This particular group is aimed at caregivers of children aged around 4-8 years old. Although we do take some younger or older children after
discussion. It is suitable for caregivers who are struggling with aspects of parenting but also for those who want to reinforce and enhance already strong relationships.

The course is run over eight sessions, of no more than 2 hours each, using video footage, handouts and discussion. Being able to attend all sessions
is essential to get the most out of the group. We have online and face to face sessions running on a termly basis.

Here is what a few of our recent attendees have said:

"I really loved the facilitators approach to reflective parenting and the extra resources and support that she gave us both in and outside the session. This course was very valuable"

"me and my husband enjoyed the group and it has really helped us see things differently"

"With the Circle I felt that I'm not alone, I felt supported and listened to. I gained the confidence and skills that will equip me to give the best support to my children specially my two boys who have autism. I also learnt that I need to be kind to myself and to be stronger and wiser. How I wish I attended this training earlier in my life but it is never too late to repair the ruptures in my past. I know there will be issues, problems and shark music along the way but I can deal with it now"

To find out more, please take a look at our leaflet Circle of Security final May 2022 v4.pdf [pdf] 478KB or contact the team via

Sensory Workshop

The parent sensory workshop is an online resource designed to deliver introductory information to parents and carers about our sensory processing systems and how this may impact upon their child. The UHP YouTube presentation is about 20 minutes long and introduces the main concepts of sensory processing and strategies to try . In addition to this there are several other links to other sources of information around the topic. This is a one off resource but parents can request a telephone follow up after a 16 week period of trying some of the strategies presented. To access the workshop you need a referral to the Occupational Therapy team from your CDC clinician. Once the referral is received, access to the workshop is then given within around 2 weeks. Here is what some of our recent parents have said...

“online works well”

“have taken away some good ideas from the sensory workshop”

“the workshop is very informative”

Mindfulness Group for ADHD

Online ADHD/introduction to mindfulness techniques for Young People (11 years +). A chance to understand the diagnosis of ADHD, meet other young people with the diagnosis and learn some mindfulness techniques along the way. This group is run sporadically, dictated by number of current requests. If you are interested in accessing the group for your child please contact the team via

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