What is autism? How can I help my child?
Autism Hampshire have produced an excellent FREE E-Learning Autism Training resource. This should take you less than an hour to complete and includes a printable certificate.
If you suspect your child may have an autism spectrum condition (ASC) you can ask for a referral for an assessment through your child’s school, health visitor or GP. Sometimes schools are reluctant to make referrals, especially if your child’s behaviour is not causing any problems at school. In this case you could make a list of the concerns you have, and speak to your GP instead.
NAS Cambridge Branch activities
We run a monthly Carers Support Group, for anyone living with or supporting someone on the autism spectrum.
The library at the Chitra Sethia Autism Centre has books, training materials and other resources available to borrow free of charge.
Other local support
Pinpoint is a local parent support charity, which runs groups and information sessions across Cambridgeshire for parents of children with ASC and other additional needs.
Special Needs Community Information Point (SCIP) is an information and advice service for families with 0-25 year olds with a disability or additional needs. This is a great source of information on groups, activities and events for children and families in all areas of Cambridgeshire.
Check out the Useful Links page on our NAS Cambridge website for a list of other organisations offering information, support and activities.
Cambridgeshire County Council services
Cambridgeshire’s Local Offer provides information about how children and young people aged 0-25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported in the county.
Blue Badge Scheme – your child may be eligible for a blue badge parking permit.
Peterborough City Council services
If your Local Authority is Peterborough City Council then you can find all their services listed under Peterborough’s Local Offer.
Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCP)
If your child has complex needs that cannot be met by their school’s existing special needs support, then the Local Authority may agree to issue an EHCP. An assessment for an EHCP is usually requested by your child’s school or care setting, but can be requested by other professionals or parents.
If you have any concerns or difficulties with this process, we recommend contacting Cambridgeshire’s SEND Information, Advice and Support Service, or the Peterborough SEND Partnership Service, who provide independent information & advice to parents and carers in their areas.
You and your child may be eligible for various benefits and there is more information about these on the National Autistic Society website. Your child may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or from age 16+ Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and other adult benefits. You may also be eligible for Carers Allowance.
DLA and PIP awards are also often used as criteria for other benefits and services. It is important to get advice from a charity or health professional with benefits expertise before filling in the claim forms for DLA and PIP.
Latest news for families
- Health and Wellbeing Strategy Consultation
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough are holding a consultation on their draft Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020-2024, which outlines the priority areas and how local councils, the NHS and community organisations would like to work together to improve people’s health and reduce health inequalities that exist across the area.
If you would like to give your views on the strategy, use the link below to the online survey. There is an easy-read version of the survey available as well.Continue reading →
- Mental Health support during COVID-19 outbreak
Are you or your child feeling anxious about Covid-19 or struggling with all the changes to your usual routine?
We’ve found a few helpful websites with suggestions to reduce anxiety and support your mental health through the next few months:
Coronavirus and your wellbeing – advice from MIND the mental health charity
Managing your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak – from Rethink Mental Illness
How to help an autistic child during the coronavirus outbreak – advice from the Priory
Uncertainty, anxiety and the Coronavirus pandemic – Ambitious about AutismContinue reading →
- Cambridge Science Festival
The Cambridge Science Festival runs from 09-22 March 2020.
Bookings for all pre-book events open on Monday 10 February. When booking for events, you can state if you would like, for example, early entry for a public lecture, seating near the exit etc.
The Festival web address is: www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/
With hundreds of free events over two weeks on everything from Astronomy to Zoology, the 2020 Cambridge Science Festival welcomes adults, teenagers and families to explore science with researchers from across Cambridge. Join us for talks, hands-on activities, performances, exhibitions and films exploring the theme of ‘vision’; the Festival has something for everyone!
The festival has some events on the latest research into the autism spectrum, please see a list with links below:
• Genetics research in autism: ethical perspectives (Friday 13 March) https://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/genetics-research-autism-ethical-perspectives
• Autism research in Cambridge (Sat 14 & Sun 15 March) https://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/autism-research-cambridge
There is also the opportunity for adults and children who have an autism spectrum condition and their families to explore Cambridge science in a quieter and less-crowded space at:
• Hands-on at the Guildhall: autism-friendly hour (Sun 15 March), bookable from Monday 10 February https://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/hands-guildhall-autism-friendly-hourContinue reading →