This page lists some links you may find useful. Usual disclaimers apply – I can’t be held responsible for the content of links posted here, but please do contact me if you experience any problems with any of the links – thanks.
- The National Autistic Society hold a wealth of information about autism and the whole spectrum of related conditions, loads of advice and sources of support and training.
- The Autism Education Trust is dedicated to coordinating, supporting and promoting effective education practice for all children and young people on the autism spectrum. It helps raise awareness of the importance of appropriate educational provision for children and young people on the autism spectrum.
- The Autism Directory is registered charity providing details of the autism help and support across the UK in one place.
- Auticon is an award-winning IT and compliance consulting business which has recently expanded from Germany into the UK. All Auticon consultants are on the autism spectrum. They pride themselves in creating autism-friendly work environments as well as delivering outstanding quality to their clients.
- Specialisterne UK is part of the rapidly growing global “Specialist People network” and contributes to the further development of the Specialisterne concept and vision of enabling one million jobs for people with autism and related challenges.
- The girl with the curly hair project is a great resource, written by a young woman in the UK who has Asperger Syndrome. She also has a Facebook page you can subscribe to.
- For a short video about what it is like to have autism, click here.
- First identified by professionals in Nottinghamshire; not, as popularly believed, in the USA, PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) is an atypical autistic spectrum condition that requires a completely different approach to ‘the usual stuff’. You can find an awareness booklet aimed at professionals here which might be worth passing on to services who aren’t aware of the condition.
- Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism at Sheffield Hallam University, has a view of autism which resonates closely with my own; that we need to see it as a different cognitive state rather than a deficit. Luke blogs about ‘Perspectives on Autism’ here.
- Protective Behaviours is a practical approach to personal safety. It is a process that encourages self-empowerment and brings with it the skills to raise self-esteem and avoid being victimised, making it very relevant to individuals with autistic spectrum conditions. The Protective Behaviours Training Partnership was formed in 2012 to promote PBs and PB training for all at a realistic and affordable cost.
- Core Assets Children’s Services has been commissioned by the Council for Disabled Children to deliver Independent Support to young people and their families in partnership with local Information, advice and Support services (IASS), previously known as Parent Partnership Services (PPS), Local Authorities, and Parent Carer Forums (PCF). They operate in 22 local authorities across the UK including Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.
- The National Network of Parent Carer Forums provides access to local parent carer groups in your area and exists to develop cohesive good practice, effective participation and a solution focused approach at all levels, locally, regionally and nationally.
Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire & surrounding counties
- Lynn Stephenson and Gwen McConnell offer a brilliant autism and behaviour training and advisory service; I am proud to be a co-director of Autism Know How.
- Bob Stafford remains available to provide his expertise and knowledge, too – contact details available on request. He’s also developing his love of pottery along with his son Joe – you can find them on Facebook as Stafford Sculpture .
- For those of you interested in pursuing a diagnostic or other formal cognitive assessment, I highly recommend Philip Whitaker, Specialist Educational Psychologist, who has vast expertise in working with young people with autism.
- In Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and the surrounding counties there are some great charitable organisations offering training, conferences, activities, services and other support for families and professionals. These include Autism Concern, Action for Asperger’s, Autism Bedfordshire, Middleton Cheney SENT, Autism Oxford, Autism West Midlands and Autism East Midlands – just to name a few!
- Other Northamptonshire based specialist teachers and consultants have set up independent services for SEND, including autism, physical difficulties, behaviour management and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Their contact details can be found here under the umbrella of Independent NEST.