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Focus Liverpool

We offer support in Liverpool and surrounding areas for families who have children with autism. The club is run using the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), which is an evidence-based teaching method for children with autism. The club provides an affordable introduction to ABA for those who might otherwise be unable to access it, and Focus Liverpool is pleased to welcome families from a variety of backgrounds and communities.

The children are supported on a one-to-one basis by a volunteer tutor, who is overseen by a qualified ABA professional, known as a BCBA.

Parents and carers can gain training, impartial advice and support to start their home ABA programme, whilst their children receive a 12-week taster into ABA. It also offers parents a cost-effective introduction to ABA.

What do we offer?

For families:

  • Child-centered, friendly and fun learning environment
  • One-to-one weekly support for children
  • Support for families going through a diagnosis of autism or those already diagnosed
  • Records and data to show the child’s progress for use with schools and nurseries and for implementing a new home programme
  • Support and advice on getting evidence and information together to present to schools or Local Authorities, particularly in the event of a review or tribunal
  • Opportunity to meet and talk with other parents to share experiences while children are attending the club
  • Training and talks from other professionals on related topics such as PECS, speech and language therapy, funding and Makaton.
  • Help and advice on implementing ABA in a home setting

For volunteers:

  • Training from accredited ABA professionals using an evidence-based method
  • Hands-on experience for those interested in teaching and childcare professions
  • Insight into new strategies and approaches to give careers a boost
  • Support and advice with on-the-job training from outside professionals including Bridge to Learning, Child Autism UK and Dimensions.

How does it work?

Focus Liverpool utilises the principles of ABA to teach social and group skills via a natural environment teaching approach. Children are initially grouped according to their social readiness with the aim of teaching skills with an adult.

Once achieved, this can progress to demonstrating the skill with one or two peers, followed by a small group. For those at a more advanced level, there is also a class that works on teaching social skills and communication within a larger group setting.

What happens?

We have 25 children who attend each cohort. Each child will attend an assessment with the BCBA a few weeks before we start to help identify their needs and ability and to discuss targets with the parent(s). Following this, each child will be given a Personalised Intervention Plan (PIP), devised by the BCBA, which details the child’s targets to be worked on over the 10 weeks.

The volunteers will attend ABA training of 2 days prior to the club start. We encourage families, parents and staff currently working with the children and anyone with an interest in ABA to attend.

Children starting at Focus Liverpool are grouped into four groups of six or seven according to their age and abilities. In each class, as well as each child’s one-to one tutor, there is a group assistant and a group lead. There are two supervisors on-site who each look after two groups, and the BCBA will attend on planned days.

The parents will be given a report at the end of the cohort, which will show progress for their child and, if applicable, support their application for Caudwell funding or their EHCP.

What are the benefits?

Children are given an opportunity to learn with their peers. They can learn essential communication and play skills in a fun, relaxed environment.

Parents gain much-needed respite and are given opportunities to learn about autism and interventions that can really help. Parents have given positive feedback about the level of support on offer at Focus Liverpool. Often, once a child has received a diagnosis, parents can feel that they have ended their journey, having waiting a long time for the diagnosis and met with numerous medical professionals on the way. But, in fact, it is only the beginning. Parents are often left alone to deal with things and can feel overwhelmed with the lack of help and interventions. They can feel they have no support and have to find their own feet. This is where Focus Liverpool can help.

Volunteers have to opportunity to learn more about autism with training and support around the principles of ABA.

The fee for each child is only £250 for the 10 weeks. An assessment alone when starting an ABA programme can cost in excess of £600. The parent training and talks are all free to attend.


A popular quote from Ignacio Estrada: “If a child cannot learn the way you teach, then teach the way they learn”.

Each and every child is different. Therefore, we feel it is important to personalise each child’s learning. We believe we should work in collaboration and must work alongside the Local Authority, schools, parents and multi agencies for the greater good of each individual child. This is why we offer and make room for anyone who wishes to learn about ABA and who wants to attend the training.

Our aims

  • Provide a cost-effective introduction to ABA to families
  • Provide a one-stop shop for ABA, where families can gain access to reputable BCBAs and tutors
  • Provide parents with the information and support they need to enable them to start their own home programme
  • Support families through ABA and early intervention
  • Provide initial and on-going training and support to students/volunteers who have an interest in working with children with autism
  • Dispelling the myths of ABA
  • Helping children with autism reach their full potential

Who to contact

Contact Name
Hayley Hammond
Contact Position

Where to go

Lister Steps Nursery
Lister Drive
L13 7HH

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Time of day
Session Information
Children must be registered to attend the course
Parents must stay on site

Other Details


Referral required
Other notes

Register here:
For the taster session which starts in March 2017 & September 2017

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Young Adults (16 to 25)
Primary (5 to 11)
Secondary (11 to 16)
Early Years (0 to 5)