Autism Support Group meetings


Our evening support group meetings are open to all – parents, carers and family members of autistic children and adults, individuals on the autistic spectrum and professionals who work with them – to meet to exchange experiences, skills and understanding. There is often social isolation of families and those affected by Autistic Spectrum Conditions. It is hoped these groups will help. At some meetings we invite guest speakers or have professionals present who can advise on aspects of autism.

Our Resource Library will be open at these meetings.

Meetings are held at Bishopstoke Evangelical Church, Stoke Park Road, SO50 6DA from 7:30pm to 9.30pm (usually on the third Monday of each month – see dates on the right).

Click here for a map of the church location.

We ask for a donation of £1 per person towards our running costs.

Dates of our next meetings: 

Monday 29 April  – 7.00–9.30pm
This is our Annual General Meeting at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church
Please note the change of regular date, time and venue

For further information and to book click here

We welcome as our very special guest speaker, Sarah-Jane Critchley. Sarah-Jane is a keynote speaker, author and parent who spent 10 years building the Autism Education Trust to share good practice with schools across England.

Sarah-Jane will be talking to us about two topics:

  • School exclusions
  • Mental health (both children and adults). 

She is Author of 'A Different Joy: The Parents' Guide to Living Better with Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and More...' and The Different Joy Planner.

She has spoken at events for TES (formerly the Times Educational Supplement), National Association of Head Teachers on National and International stages, for Local Authorities and for parent’s groups.   

Monday 20 May – 7.30–9.30pm  
We are delighted to announce a return visit of Alex Kelly as our guest this evening. Alex was a very popular speaker when she last visited us in 2017. She will be giving a talk about Developing Social Skills and Making Friends. This talk applies to both autistic children and adults.

Alex is Managing Director of Alex Kelly Ltd – she has nearly 30 years of experience as a speech therapist. In 2011 she recognised the need for a day service for adults that had a communication and social skills focus, so along with her husband, Brian Sains, she opened Speaking Space – a day service for adults with autism and/or learning disabilities.

Alex is a renowned international speaker and offers training in communication and social skills. She spent much of her time working in Wales with Afasic Cymru and also running communication courses for Hampshire County Council.

Monday 17 June – 7.30–9.30pm

Monday 15 July – 7.30–9.30pm
We welcome as our guest, Ellie Jones. Ellie is an Occupational Therapist working for Speaking Space Ltd who has been working with adults and children with autism, LD and MH needs for the 12 years. Throughout this time Ellie has used sensory integration based techniques to meet the sensory needs of her varied client groups.

This talk will cover what we mean by sensory integration, the impact for those with autism and what we can do to help.

Previous meetings links:

Monday 16 April 2018
This meeting included our Annual General Meeting and featured a talk from Sharon King, nationally-renown inspirational public speaker, writer, advocate and mother of three children on the autism spectrum. Sharon's new book, How to Best Help an Autism Mum, is available on Amazon.

Monday 18 September 2017
We welcomed Peter Hull and Karen Tillyer from Active Nation to our meeting. Click here to visit their website and activity programme.

Monday 17 July 2017
We welcomed as our guest, Alex Kelly, Managing Director of Alex Kelly Ltd. Alex gave a talk about communication - the presentation can be viewed here.

Monday 24 April 2017
We were pleased to welcome, as our guest, Mary Lilley, Service Manager for the Hampshire Specialist Parenting Support Service run by Barnardos. The Service (HSPSS) has been commissioned by the Children and Maternity Collaborative of the five Hampshire CCGs. Full details of the service can be found at

The meeting also included our annual general meeting. Our annual report can be viewed here.

Monday 20 February 2017
We were pleased to welcome, as our guest, Dr Emma Wells. Emma has actively been involved in developing P&G’s learning culture and encouraging diversity in the organisation, both of which are key for innovation and form an integral part of P&G’s ethos… “Everyone Valued. Everyone Included. Everyone Performing at their Peak”. Emma referred to a publication Square holes for square pegs - Current practice in employment and autism.

Monday 19 September 2016
We were pleased to welcome Amy Green, a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist who works for Alex Kelly Ltd. Amy mentioned the Talkabout series of books. More information about these can be found here.

Monday 18 April 2016
We were delighted to welcome, as our guest, Dr Beatriz López, Associate Head for Innovation, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth. Beatriz's talk can be downloaded here – Predictors of outcomes in adulthood for children with autism.



The South Hampshire Branch is a self-funded branch of the National Autistic Society and run entirely by volunteers.

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