What is autism? How can I help my child?
The National Autistic Society website has lots of useful information about autism including advice and strategies for eating, toilet training and behavioural difficulties, communication, sleep issues and education.
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 our Useful Links page 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. You can request an Education, Health & Care needs assessment for your child, or it can be requested by your child’s school or care setting, or other professionals.
There is an excellent guide to EHC Plans and how to request an assessment on the IPSEA website: Education, Health and Care Plans
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 how to claim these on the Citizens Advice 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
- Re-opening of the NAS Cambridge Carers Support Group
Our monthly Carers Support Group is back!
Our monthly carers support group is a great chance to meet other parents and carers facing similar challenges, swap ideas, and find out about support and activities in the local area. Anyone caring for a child or adult with autism is very welcome to attend any of the meetings for a chat and a cuppa, no need to book.
Please note we are now in a new venue, at the Orchard Park Community Centre
The group runs at 7.30-9.00pm on the first Tuesday each month at the Orchard Park Community Centre, Central Avenue, Orchard Park, Cambridge CB4 2EZ. Upcoming dates for the group are:
- October 5, 2021
- November 2, 2021
- December 7, 2021
- October 5, 2021
- NAS Cambridge Quiz Night at 7.30pm on Thursday 1st April
We are hosting an online pub style Quiz Night for the whole family at 7.30pm on Thursday 1st April.
Please join us for a fun evening and help raise funds for the branch. Tickets cost £2.75 and can be booked through eventbrite here:Continue reading →
- NAS Cambridge Annual General Meeting