Resources To Support Autism
This is a very worrying and difficult time for us all and many of our young people within the autism spectrum may feel very anxious, due to the uncertainty of our current situation and the unknown that we are all facing! The unknown and not being able to make sense of situations or predict what is happening really does cause anxiety for our young people! Changes to established routines, the closing of school, not visiting Grandparents and the cancelling of any travel plans is likely to increase their stress levels and you may see behavioural concerns appear! So, to support our young people and families, we have put together guidance to help you during these very challenging times.
The best way you can help your son or daughter is to provide as much clarity of information as possible, as much structure and predictability of routines as possible.
How can you provide clarity of information?
Keep all information about Covid-19 very clear and simple. A lengthy and medical explanation is not always necessary. Please try and avoid general chit chat about the virus and the possible impact it may have, as this will not be helpful and will only add to their anxieties. It’s also a good idea to ensure any talk about Covid-19 follows the official Government guidelines.
Please find direct access to the website:
How can you provide structure and predictability?
If possible, try and help them keep their normal routines, as long as it’s safe to do so and if it follows Government guidelines. Keeping to their normal daily timetable may help and please remember to give prior notice of any changes that may need to be made. Many of our young people with autism have special interests and changes may have to be made due to isolation, the closure of clubs, sporting activities and events. If changes have to be made, discuss them with your child, as this may help them to cope better. Help them by finding other ways to connect to their interests and friends through the safe use of the Internet, websites, video calls, emails and text
Carol Gray Social Stories
Social StoriesTM can help people with Autism Spectrum Disorder develop greater social understanding and stay safe. They are an excellent way to help your child understand different situations. Please see the one below about coronavirus and the changes that may need to take place. This could be read to everyday as part of their daily routine and may help with reducing anxiety.
Carol Gray, the founder of Social Stories is currently offering free club membership and direct free access to pandemic Social Stories with permission to download-share-translate. Please click on the link for direct access to her website: https://carolgraysocialstories.
Information, Support & Advice
Please find below the contact details for organisations that offer information, support and advice for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their families and carers. Please note that like school, many of these organisations will be asking their employees to work from home, so they may not be running as normal. However, we have added direct links to sites with useful information that may support you during this time and highlighted in yellow information about their current level of service.
The National Autistic Society
The leading UK charity for people with Autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. The NAS provide information, support and pioneering services.
Telephone Number: 0207 833 2299 Phone line open from 9am-12pm /1pm-3pm
Direct link to coronavirus information
NAS General Website: http://www.autism.org.uk
What's on this website for parents and carers?
You'll find plenty of information for parents and carers on their website, including more about Autism, Asperger syndrome, and diagnosis.
Much of the information in the Living with Autism section is aimed at parents and is full of practical advice, ideas and further contacts.
If you'd like to talk to someone, they have an online community which is open to parents and carers as well as a confidential Parent to Parent telephone service. And, with 100 local branches currently running, you should be able to find other people you can make contact with in your area.
Major subjects of interest include:
- Information about getting a diagnosis for your child - whether they're under the age of 18 or an adult.
- Education advice and education services, including the Education Rights Service.
- Employment advice and employment support services.
- Advice about issues at home and out in the community.
- Family support services, such as EarlyBird and EarlyBird Plus.
- Short breaks and befriending schemes.
- Services for children and adults with Autism.
- Care and benefits and care and benefits advice services.
- Researching further into autism and Asperger syndrome and our information and research services.
- Advice on benefits, community care and housing issues for older adults on the Autism spectrum.
- There is an interesting and useful link on the NAS website "Recognising Autism & Planning the Right Support. Click here to read.
The Autism Helpline enquiry service provides impartial, confidential information along with advice and support for autistic people and their families and carers.
Telephone Number: 0808 800 4104 Phone line open
The Autism Helpline currently offer the following specialist services: Welfare rights, Community care and School Exclusions.
Autism Services Directory
The Autism Services Directory is the UK's most comprehensive directory of services and support for autistic people, their families, and people who work with them.
Hillingdon Autistic Care & Support (HACS)
HACS work in partnership with Social Services, health & education to enhance the range, quality and provision of services for parents and carers of adults & children on the Autism Spectrum.
Telephone: 020 8606 6780 Phone line open but limited service
Services include: telephone helpline; resource library; holiday play schemes; Saturday clubs (5-12 years); weekly youth clubs (11-25 years); Support & advice from staff trained in disability related welfare benefit rights; respite activities for parents & carers; training & workshops; post 16 years life skills & employment project for young people with Autism in their tea rooms; information, updates & research on Autism.
ADHD & Autism Support Harrow
Centre for ADHD & Autism Support (CAAS)
CAAS supports, educates and empowers individuals with ADHD and/or autism, their families, and the community. Through raising awareness they change perceptions and break down barriers.
Led and run by trained people who have first-hand experience of family members with one or both conditions, CAAS understands the issues facing service users. They provide information, training, support groups and practical help to residents of the London Boroughs of Harrow, Hillingdon, Ealing and Brent, as well as parts of Hertfordshire.
Telephone: 020 8429 1552 ADHD Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email contact only
Autism Email: email@example.com
Support, advice and services for children… Child Autism UK
Telephone: 01344 882248 Email contact only
Child Autism UK helps children with autism achieve their potential. We provide services to enable children to overcome difficulties with communication, learning and life skills and give families the techniques and strategies to cope with autism through the use of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Child Autism UK also provides training and a network for ABA professionals working with young children.
Family Fund. Helping disabled children.
Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Their purpose is to improve the lives of low income families. To provide items or services they could not otherwise afford or access and that would improve their quality of life, realise their rights and remove some of the barriers they face. So they have the same choices, quality of life, opportunities and aspirations as other families.
Telephone: 01904 550055. Email contact only
Ambitious About Autism
Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. We provide services, raise awareness and understanding, and campaign for change.
Telephone: 0208 815 5444
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation.
Is a charity for people with severe learning disabilities:
- provide information about challenging behaviour
- peer support groups for families, carers and professionals
- support families by phone or email
- running workshops to reduce challenging behaviour
- speaking up for families nationally/campaigning
Their vision is for anyone with severe learning disabilities who display challenging behaviour to have the same life opportunities as everyone else.
Family support line: 0300 666 0126
Information provided by Mrs T Watson - Lead Teacher, Autism