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 our Useful Links page 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:
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 how to claim these on the Citizens Advice 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:
- Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) Advisory Panel and Steering Group: Call For Members
ACE was created by the charity the Autism Research Trust, and is home to Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre (ARC) and will also provide clinical, educational and life skills services across the lifespan, for autistic people and their families. The mission of ACE is to promote wellbeing for autistic people, and to promote autism research.
You can read more about ACE here.
They are now looking for members of the autism community to be involved in the shaping and direction of ACE. ACE is looking for people to join their Steering Group or to be a panel member.
Who can be involved?
- autistic adults
- parents and/or carers of autistic people
- people with an autistic family member
- clinicians, educators, social care workers, and other relevant professionals
For more information and how to apply see the online formContinue reading →
- 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 →