What is autism?
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.
For adult diagnosis in Cambridgeshire you need to ask your GP for a referral to the Cambridge Lifespan Autism Spectrum Service (CLASS) clinic.
The waiting list for diagnosis is very long, so if you are uncertain about whether you want to seek a diagnosis, it may be worth asking for a referral to the list anyway until you have reached a decision.
NAS Cambridge Branch activities
We run a relaxed Social Club for adults aged 18+ which is held on Sunday evenings twice per month.
We also run monthly daytime drop-ins for adults in Huntingdon and March, offering information, support and an opportunity to meet other adults with ASC.
The library at the Chitra Sethia Autism Centre has books, training materials and other resources available to borrow free of charge.
Other local support
The NAS Peterborough branch runs regular social groups for adults.
Autism Support Network – the Cambridgeshire Autism Support Managers and VoiceAbility run a monthly drop-in at the Chitra Sethia Autism Centre for people on the autism spectrum, who are aged 16+ and living in the Cambridge area.
Check out the Useful Links page on our NAS Cambridge website for a list of other organisations offering information, support and activities.
Free Bus Passes – you may be eligible to apply for a pass from Cambridgeshire County Council.
Driving – there is lots of useful information related to driving on the National Autistic Society website, including the blue badge scheme. You only need to notify the DVLA of your autism diagnosis if being autistic affects your ability to drive safely.
Blue Badge Scheme – you may be eligible for a blue badge parking permit. If you are applying because you are receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) then read your PIP award letter carefully as the qualifying criteria for a blue badge are very specific. If you do not meet any of the automatic criteria you can still apply under the discretionary category.
If you would like a card to carry for use in difficult situations, that will let people know you have autism and give some basic information about the condition, you can order one of the following:
The National Autistic Society have an ‘I Am Autistic’ card you can order online at low cost.
Autism Anglia offer an Autism Alert Card which costs more, but requires proof of diagnosis and is recognised by all the Police forces in the East of England area.
You may be eligible for various benefits including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). There is more information about these on the National Autistic Society website. It is important to get advice from someone with benefits expertise before filling in the claim form for PIP.
Cambridgeshire County Council services
Peterborough City Council services
If your Local Authority is Peterborough City Council then you can find information about all their services including Easy Read information on their Peterborough Information Network page.
Latest news for adults:
- New National Autistic Society website
The National Autistic Society are updating their national website at www.autism.org.uk
It will be launched by the end of August and you can see a preview here. The website is a great resource with lots of information and a searchable directory of service providers.
Our website here at the Cambridge Branch will still be the same!Continue reading →
- Mental health support for children & young people
Is lockdown having a negative effect on your child? Or are you a young person struggling with high levels of anxiety and mental distress during lockdown?
Not sure how to access help? Two local sources of support are:
KeepYourHead is Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’s Children & Young People’s mental health services site. It includes lots of information about mental health, things you can do to help yourself, and where to go to for more support.Continue reading →
- Adult Autism Support Service change announcement
The NAS Adult Autism Support Service will be moving to Cambridgeshire County Council from 1st June. Here is a message from Joseph Simon:
“We are writing to everyone who has used or worked with the Cambridgeshire Adult Autism Support Service to let you know that there will be a change from 1 June. The service we provide will not change, but the service is being taken in house by Cambridgeshire County Council, as the National Autistic Society has decided not to continue to manage the service when the current contract ends on 31 May.
We, Anna Thomas and Dr Joseph Simon, the current Autism Support Managers, will continue to provide the service as our posts are being transferred to the council. Once all the new arrangements are in place, the service will be reviewed to make sure it’s working as effectively as possible to support autistic adults, but the council do not expect there to be significant changes.
The details for contacting the service will change from 1 June. After that date, please check the following sources for the new details:
- Customer Care Contact Centre for Cambridgeshire County Council Adult Social Care at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0345 0455202
- Adults and Autism Team via e-mail AAT@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or on 01480 373220
- National Autistic Society Cambridge Branch website at https://www.nascambridge.org.uk or on its helpline: 07920 150407
We are very pleased that we will continue to provide this essential service to autistic adults in the county. “Continue reading →