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Autism

 

‚ÄčThis is a section for parents, carers and families who have a child or young person on the Autism Spectrum. It is also aimed at professionals who work with or support children and young people with autism. The purpose of the page is to link useful autism information together on one page. We welcome suggestions from anyone using the page about local information to be included and how to make it more useful.

Credit: film created by and uploaded with kind permission of Alex Amelines (Studio Tinto)

Information about diagnosis and pre and post diagnosis support 

Neurodevelopmental Assessments (ADHD and ASC/Autism) (opens a new window)

Pre and Post Diagnosis Support Service (opens a new window)

Local and national autism specific groups and organisations

There are many groups available, which you can find by searching the Directory on this website, but here are a few autism-specific groups. 

Express CIC

We are a user led voluntary organisation. Driven by our desire to build a better future for autistic young people in our community, we created Express CIC in 2012. Express CIC is now a much loved and valued service for the community providing information and support to autistic children,young people and their families. What started around a kitchen table is now the ‘go to’ place for 100's of families.

We run a busy ‘mini hub’ in Tolworth and provide:

  • Dramatherapy
  • Sibs Group
  • Counselling
  • Information
  • Support
  • Events
  • Drama Group
  • Work Experience
  • Student Placements
  • Volunteer opportunities

Please visit www.expresscic.org.uk or email info@expresscic.org.uk for more information and a referral form.  

 

Workshops at Grand Avenue Primary School

The school's lead staff member for SEND, Jane Pidduck, runs various training courses, workshops and networking groups for parents, carers and families who have a child or young person on the Autism Spectrum.  Grand Avenue also run groups for siblings of children with autism as well as sibs parent workshops. Please note the sibling attending the group needs to be aged between 7 and 11. You do not have to be connected to this school to take part. 

For more information, please contact Jane:

Email: jpiddu2@grandavenue.kingston.sch.uk 
Telephone: 020 8399 5344 

ASC social skills group 

These groups are for children on the autism spectrum in mainstream education aged 8 -12 years and are usually held at Moor Lane Centre in Chessington in term time. For more information, please contact Tracey:

Email: tracey.barnes@achievingforchildren.org.uk
Telephone: 077 4853 4587 

 

The Lighthouse Project

This is a closed group for young people 11 to 24 years with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). This group is run by Achieving for Children Youth Service. 

The sessions take place once a week and young people who attend have a set structure for the evening. Each session includes a planned educational workshop or activity as well as the freedom to enjoy time with friends and accessing the many facilities available at Ham Youth Centre. Membership is by referral only - there is no open access. Referral can be made by professionals or parents. To discuss whether this club might be suitable for a particular young person or to arrange a visit please contact us (details on the link below)

The group is open to young people from the Richmond and Kingston boroughs. 

Find out more details about the Lighthouse Project (opens a new window)

 

NAS Richmond Branch

A friendly parent-led group aiming to support families and individuals mainly in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames living with an autism spectrum  (including Asperger's Syndrome). They hold coffee mornings, liaise with other groups and provide regular updates via emails.
Find out more details about NAS Richmond Branch  

 

National Autistic Society (NAS)

The UK's leading charity for people on the Autistic Spectrum and their families. They provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for Autistic people.
Find out more details about the National Autistic Society 

Would you like to receive confidential emotional support from another parent?

Parent to Parent (P2P) is a UK-wide confidential telephone service providing emotional support to parents and carers of children or adults on the autism spectrum.

NAS helplines (opens a new window)

The service is provided by trained parent volunteers who are all parents themselves of a child or adult on the autism spectrum. Volunteers are based across the UK so you don’t have to share information with someone in your local area. Our volunteers have personal experience of autism and the impact it has on their own families. They can give other parents the opportunity to talk through problems and feelings, suggest helpful strategies, or provide a non-judgemental listening ear.  

Ambitious about Autism

Britain's national charity for children and young people with autism. They provide services, raise awareness and understanding, and campaign for change. Their ambition is to make the ordinary possible for more children and young people with autism. They have a Youth Council, a group of 16-25 year olds with autism, who meet at least four times a year to discuss and plan campaigns, events and consultations. 
Find out more details for Ambitious about Autism 

Ambitious Youth Network, is a UK-wide online platform for autistic young people! This network is a space for autistic young people, between the ages of 16-25 to meet other autistic young people, take on new paid opportunities, and join one of our group panels. The network is a fun and friendly space for autistic young people to be themselves.

Kjay - Preferred language

Did you know children and young people prefer you saying ASC and Autism and not ASD?

This is a voice message from a young person with Autism explaining the difference that using the right language can have, highlighting the difference between autism spectrum condition (ASC) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the effect that describing it as a ‘disorder’ has on young people.

Please can you use this language moving forward when speaking about or with children and young people who have Autism.

Kjay's message about using the right language around Autism

 

Others groups that offer support to families and children and young people, including those with autism

Skylarks 

Skylarks is an independent Richmond-upon-Thames based charity that provides activities and therapies for children with disabilities and additional needs. They also support and provide therapies, courses and information for their whole families. They are a pan-disability group but a large proportion of the children who use their services have autism.

Find out more about Skylarks

Action Attainment

Aims to enable children with speech, language, communication and sensory needs to achieve and have active lives. Led by Samantha Silver, the organisation builds on Sam's personal and professional experience of supporting children and their families to have fun and learn in and out of school.

Action Attainment works directly with families, professionals, schools and with community groups to provide understanding, strategies and opportunities for learning, play and friendships.

Find out more details about Action Attainment 

Yorda Adventures

Yorda Adventures is a not-for-profit community organisation that works with families in and around the borough of Kingston-upon-Thames. Yorda pride themselves in providing engaging and stimulating play and short break projects for children and young people with severe learning disabilities.  Occasionally Yorda target a project at a specific group, for example those with autism, or those with physical disabilities.

Yorda Adventures

Our Barn Community

Run a number of community-based activities for young people aged 16 to 25 with learning or other disabilities such as autism, plus a drop-in session for unpaid carers regardless of age. Our Barn is based at Jubilee Lodge in Osterley Park, Isleworth.

Find out more about Our Barn Community 

Working Well Trust

Working Well Trust provides group and individual support to adults (18+ years) with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism to provide support and guidance with employment. You can contact Working Well Trust on 020 7143 4044 or by email at kingston@wwtrust.co.uk.

Hft Surrey

Support people with learning disabilities and autism to live with more independence and choice across the Surrey area, including Kingston, Sutton, Surbiton, Chessington, and New Malden.

HFT Surrey

MCCH Supported Employment Service

This supported employment service is for people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health needs, physical disabilities and sensory impairments. They work with the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth Council to support people to gain and keep paid employment.

More about MCCH

Training and learning opportunities

Achieving for Children (AfC) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses

AfC run a variety of courses for professionals working in the broad field of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). If you type 'Autism' in the search bar on the 'AfC CPD Online' website, you can find out more details about Autism-specific training opportunities.

Find out more details about AfC CPD courses (opens a page on an external website)

National Autistic Society (NAS) 'EarlyBird' courses for families

EarlyBird and EarlyBird Plus are National Autistic Society (NAS) licensed programmes for parents.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) EarlyBird programme has been developed to support parents of pre-school children who either already have or are ‘on the road to’ a diagnosis of an autism and is of pre-school age (not yet of statutory school age).

The programme aims to support parents in the period between diagnosis and school placement, empowering and helping them facilitate their child's social communication and appropriate behaviour in their natural environment. It also helps parents to establish good practice in handling their child at an early age, so as to pre-empt the development of inappropriate behaviours.

Find out more details about EarlyBird

Barnardo's Cygnet Training

These courses are designed for parents or carers of children and young people aged 8 to 16, with a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition. The course aims to improve participants’ confidence in managing the challenges faced when raising a child with ASC. 

The Cygnet programme covers  - What is autism?, communication, sensory issues, understanding and managing behaviour and siblings. This programme is over seven weeks for two and a half hours each session.

Find out more details about Barnardo's Cygnet Training

‚Äč

The Happy in School (HIS) Project programme is for parents of children diagnosed (or pre-diagnosis) on the autism spectrum attending a mainstream primary school. HIS is a six-week programme, delivered through a series of interactive and dynamic workshops, the H.I.S. Project will provide you or your organisation with practical skills and knowledge you can put into practice immediately with the children in your care.

National Autism Society training for professionals

The NAS run many types of training and consultancy opportunities for professionals, including a variety of scheduled training events; courses run at your venue tailored to your organisation's needs; a consultancy service that works with you to find creative solutions and a comprehensive range of online training modules.

Find out more details about NAS training for professionals (opens a page on an external website)

Ambitious about Autism: training and consultancy opportunities

This charity delivers training for both parents and professionals, and offers a bespoke outreach and consultancy service. 

According to Ambitious about Autism, "Raising awareness and understanding of autism is critical to ensuring children and young people with autism can learn, thrive and achieve and our training programme is just one way we achieve this".

Find out more details for Ambitious about Autism training

Other resources and useful links

 

Reasonable Adjustments' film featuring twelve children and young people with SEND, including Autism 

Autism information on Richmond Council website

Autism information on Kingston Council website

CBeebies Autism stories

Hear about the autism spectrum, told through children’s personal experiences