News archive

Please find below all our news stories in full.

Date Title
01 Oct

New look for the National Autistic Society 

The National Autistic Society was founded 56 years ago, and since then we’ve changed what we say and how we look many times. We do this so autistic people and their families understand what we do and our charity’s purpose. We also change because understanding about autism is ever evolving, in part thanks to the many successes we’ve achieved with your help in changing attitudes among the public, businesses and the government.

The changes we’re introducing are to make sure that we reflect the world as it is now – and can work towards the changes in society that autistic people need. We’ve talked to autistic people, their families and the other people we want to support the charity. Following their feedback, we’ve changed our vision, which describes what the charity exists to achieve.

Our new vision is: a society that works for autistic people.

We aim to achieve this through our care and other services, through our schools and our information, which all help people transform their lives; and through our campaigning, training and conferences which exist to change society’s attitudes. To make our hopes for the future clearer, we have also changed how we look – including a new logo. Autistic people and their families have told us they really like the new look. We hope you will as much as they do. 

Hear what NAS Ambassador, Chris Packham, NAS President, Jane Asher and Chief Executive, Mark Lever have to say about our new look, vision and mission.

21 Sep

Social Skills Course
As announced in our recent newsletters, we are running a 6-session Social Skills course for up to 8 of our members’ children, on consecutive Saturday mornings from 3 November to 8 December 2018 in Fair Oak.

We are now inviting registrations of interest from any parent/carer of a child aged 7 or above, who would be able to attend all planned sessions.

The branch will heavily subsidise this – there will be a charge of £60 per child for this course (it actually costs over £200 per child). Please do not send any money with your registration of interest form - we will contact you if you have been successful and arrange payment then.

The course will be run, as in the past, by professionals from Friends of In Touch who have a great deal of experience in working with children with autism. Since 2006, whenever funding has been available, we have offered these courses and, to date, over 90 young people have benefitted from them.

The main focus of each course will be on social and communication skills. Each session will build on the previous one, so it is essential that each child attends the full course.

The course will be for a specific age-range but this can only be determined once we have received registration of interest forms back. We will then be able to work out the most suitable age-range for this course according to demand. Past experienced has shown that the course is not effective if the age-range is too wide. Should your child not fit within this age-range, we hope we may be able to offer another course in 2019.

The first session, on Saturday 3 November at 10.00am, is an introductory one-hour session at which parents are required to attend along with their child. The main sessions, for just the child, will commence on Saturday 10 November from 10.00 to 11.45am with the final session on 8 December being a double session from 10.00am to 1.00pm.

Expressions of interest will be considered on a first come, first served basis and we ask that all forms be returned by Sunday 30 September.

3 Oct

Talkabout Social Skills Groups
Alex Kelly Ltd, is running a series of social Skills groups for children, young people and adults at their base in Romsey.

For more information download the flyers below:

21 Jun

Information and Advice Survey
A new survey from Hampshire Autism Voice is now open concerning local information and advice services for autism and the Local Autism Directory (, facilitated by Autism Hampshire.

We are very much involved in gathering this information for an important project looking at how access to advice and information about autism can be improved and would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes responding to this important survey. It is for people with autism or their parents/carers to fill in.

This short survey will take 15-20 minutes to fill in and will close on 7 July 2017.

Visit to complete the survey.
Please feel free to forward to any other interested parties to circulate as widely as possible.

A paper copy is available for those who are not comfortable using the online version. Please contact
HAV Network Coordinator ( if required.

12 Apr
New Branch Treasurer required
Our current Branch Treasurer, who has done a great job over the past few years looking after our accounts, will be standing down in a few months’ time due to other personal commitments.

We are, therefore, looking for a volunteer willing to take on this vitally important role within our Branch. NAS Branches can only operate if they have both a Branch Officer and Branch Treasurer.

We are looking for someone who has a good understanding of how to manage finances, is numerate, dedicated and willing to give flexible hours to suit. The role of branch treasurer typically takes around 1½ to 2 hours a week (depending on how active the branch is at any one time). The amount of time required during school holidays tends to be minimal. The role involves working closely with me and there is support available from the NAS Branches Team in London. Free training is provided.

A full ‘job description’ can be found here.

Like all our volunteer roles, this can be very rewarding. It is an opportunity to get involved and make a difference for people with autism and their families.

If you are interested to find out more, or know of someone who may be interested, please get in touch as soon as possible via our contact form. The sooner we can find a new volunteer, the longer and smoother the hand-over can be. Thank you.

06 Mar

Autism and Mental Health consultation report published
In October and November 2016, our branch carried out a consultation about the way in which mental health affects children and adults with autism, and accessing services in Hampshire in the last 3 years. The consultation was funded and supported by Healthwatch Hampshire. The project was aimed at children, young people and adults with autism, their families/carers and professionals who work with them.

The branch worked in partnership with Hampshire Autism Voice (HAV) – the voluntary parent/carer/people-with-autism group on the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board (HAPB). Autism Hampshire was commissioned to facilitate focus groups and one-to-one interviews.

The consultation consisted of an online survey to which146 people responded. At the same time, two focus groups for parents and carers took place: in total 36 people attended. There were seven 1:1 telephone interviews conducted with 6 adults with autism plus a parent of an adult who have accessed mental health services in Hampshire.

Once the online survey had closed, the initial results were discussed in a focus group with professionals to discuss their views. This group consisted of Mental Health professionals, Hampshire County Council and Healthwatch Hampshire representatives.

The report is now available and can be downloaded here.

We look forward to the recommendations being taken on board by autism and mental health organisations to ensure an improvement to services.

28 Feb

Introduction to Autism parent/carer seminar
At the request of our members, we are running an Introduction to Autism parent seminar on:

Thursday 6 April
at Fleming Park Bowling Club, Kornwestheim Way, Eastleigh, SO50 9NL
from 9.30am to 2.30pm. 

The seminar is primarily aimed at parents of children/young people (up to about 18 years) who have a diagnosis and want a basic introduction to autism. However, the day may also be useful for anyone who wants a general overview of autism or to fill in gaps in their knowledge. The seminar will be interactive and cover:

  • What is autism
  • Sensory issues
  • Strengths
  • Things to be aware of
  • Transition in education
  • Diagnosis and post-diagnosis
  • Benefits
  • Autism Act and Hampshire Autism Partnership Board
  • Support and contacts

The cost is £20 per person (with a maximum of two people from any family – which could be a parent and a friend). Refreshments and a light lunch are included.

23 Jan

The Farooqi Award for Diversity and Inclusion 2016 
 We are delighted to announce that our branch are 2016 winners of this award. At a ceremony on Saturday 21 January, we were presented with the award by Nick Tustian, Chief Executive of Eastleigh Borough Council, Jean Roberts-Jones, Chief Executive of One Community and Mohammed Mossadaq, from the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association (AWCA).

The Farooqi Award is awarded to those who have made a positive contribution to diversity and inclusion in the Borough of Eastleigh. This award is organised by the Eastleigh-based AWCA and is supported by a range of public, private, voluntary and community organisations, including Eastleigh Borough Council and local charity, One Community. The Farooqi Award is sponsored by Mohammed Mossadaq, a trustee of the AWCA, and named in honour of his parents, who passed away recently.

Left to right: Mohammed Mossadaq , Rachel Carter, Nick Tustian, David Carter and Jean Roberts-Jones

21 Oct

Consultation on mental health and autism
Our branch, in partnership with Hampshire Autism Voice, has been awarded a grant from Healthwatch Hampshire to investigate ways in which mental health issues are addressed in the autistic community, identify any barriers that exist and find a positive way forward.

Even though mental illness can be more common for people with autism than in the general population, the mental health of people on the spectrum is often overlooked. Anxiety disorders are very common amongst people with autism.

  • Roughly 40% have symptoms of at least one anxiety disorder at any time, compared with up to 15% in the general population.
  • Understandably, this can lead to sadness or depression – one reason why a mixture of anxiety and depression is common.
  • Mental health is a current priority issue for the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board.

An online consultation is now live:

There are two surveys available:

Two focus groups have been held, facilitated by Kathryn Cornish from Autism Hampshire. The first of these at our Support Group meeting on Monday evening 17 October and the second at Brunch Club in Café Dome, Basingstoke on Friday 21 October.

There will also be some 1-to-1 and group interviews with adults with autism.

If you:

  • Live in Hampshire (excluding Southampton, Portsmouth or Isle of Wight)
  • Have experience of using or needing to use mental health services in the last 3 years
  • Can spare 30 - 40 minutes to be interviewed on the phone (or in some cases to meet up)

Your views will be included anonymously within our report.
If you might be willing to help us with this or for further information please contact Kath Cornish, Autism Hampshire Community Access Project Officer, Tel: 02380 766162, Email:

In December we are running a focus group of relevant professionals to feed into the consultation. We also plan to produce a short film about the main findings of the consultation.

15 Sep
Marks & Spencer launch autism-friendly school wear
The National Autistic Society is delighted to have teamed up with Marks & Spencer to support the development of their brand new ‘Easy Dressing’ school uniform collection.
Following a product development campaign called ‘Inventors Wanted’, M&S received lots of feedback asking them to do more for people who struggle with clothing – especially children on the autism spectrum. After consulting with professionals working with autistic children, they decided to develop an ’Easy Dressing’ school uniform range.
As well as working with the charity to develop the range, M&S will also be donating 10% from every item sold to The National Autistic Society. Visit M&S website for further information.

15 Sep
New report shows parents still face long battles to get right support for children
The National Autistic Society’s new education report finds that far too many parents and carers of autistic children in England face long and exhausting battles to get the education and support their children need.
School Report 2016 is based on surveys of around 1,000 parents, carers and children and young people on the autism spectrum. Two years on from the introduction of a new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) system in England, the NAS wanted to find out whether the new system is meeting their needs.
Download the report here.

13 Sep

Visiting the Hampshire Countryside and Exploring the New Forest by Bus booklets 
You may recall we had copies of these booklets available at recent meetings – in fact we still have a few left which will be available to our next support group meeting. If you have used either booklets, which are designed for families and teachers of children with autism, the authors would really value your feedback. If you can spare a few minutes to help with this, please email David Blakesley as soon as possible at or use the feedback form for parents or feedback form for teachers.

28 Jun

Transition Team HCC – New Ways of Working
Making the transition from Children’s Services or from Education into Adult Services is everyone’s business. Young people and their families need to be supported by their schools, their Children’s Services Social Worker and their health workers to think about their plans for adult life.

Hampshire County Council Adult Services (HCCAS) are going to be doing things differently for young people with complex needs and disabilities and their families and carers when they are thinking about their adult life. They want to make things better for young people and their families when planning for adult life.

HCCAS have listened to what people have told them about the way they want to be supported to make decisions about the support they will need to make the transition from Children’s Services. To find out more information about the work they have done, their current plan and the new ways of working please click here for the full details. For more information, contact Andrea Frost or Carrie Voyle on or 0300 555 1386.

28 Jun

Free Managing money online course for people on the autism spectrum
The Managing Money module is free and aimed at anyone on the autism spectrum of an age where they are ready to start learning about managing cash, banking, savings, and debt. Created by in association with The National Autistic Society, it covers a wide range of money-related topics and can be completed in one visit or accessed section by section over as many visits as required.

The module was created to assist learners to recognise their strengths as well as the challenges they may experience with managing their money. It shares real-life experiences of autistic people about the sorts of difficulties they encounter, and how they successfully manage their money.

Access the training at – you will need to register for an account – this training is free.

28 Jun

Hampshire Specialist Parenting Support Services (HSPSS)
The Hampshire Specialist Parenting Support Service (HSPSS) has been commissioned by the Children and Maternity Collaborative of the five Hampshire CCGs. The service provides parenting programmes across Hampshire both in a group setting and individually in family homes for parents/carers who have children aged 5-17 that:

  • Are diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)
  • Are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Are displaying troubling or challenging behaviours associated with mild-moderate conduct disorder
  • Are teenagers displaying anti-social behaviour including child to parent violence.

Please either email or call 01489 799178 to find out more.

28 Jun

Hampshire Autism Voice survey for adults
Please click here to access the fifth survey from Hampshire Autism Voice (HAV).

They are gathering your views about the need for an autism support service for adults, and your views about the Adult Support Service grant-funded by Hampshire County Council and provided by Autism Hampshire between April 2014 and April 2016. The results of this survey will be fed back to the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board to ensure that any issues identified can be fully addressed.
This short survey will take 15-20 minutes to fill in. The survey will close on 5 July 2016.

Please feel free to forward to any other interested pa��Pz8:� A paper copy is available for those who are not comfo Please contact if required.

. Their Educational provision survey has now closed and attracted over 230 responses – results from this survey will be analysed over the next few weeks.

11 Apr

Evaluation of the Autism Centre for Employment assessment tools
The Autism Centre for Employment (ACE) at the University of Portsmouth are working on a project which aims to evaluate a set of employment-specific assessment tools to identify individual needs in the workplace for people with autism. They developed these tools as part of a previous project funded by the Innovation fund from the Department of Health. The tools and the centre, have received this year's Outstanding Adult services award from the National Autistic Society.

They now seek to evaluate a new version of the tools that, they hope, will be more cost-effective without compromising the quality. For this evaluation they need people with autism that are in or about to start work. The assessment would be done entirely online, either via an online questionnaire or via Skype. The person with autism would get a comprehensive report regarding their employability (i.e. skills and preferences) and a cognitive profile (i.e. sensory profile, flexibility and social and communication) with a set of recommendations taking into account strengths and areas of support needed. They would also train the employer regarding potential adaptations in the work place, specifically tailored for their employee.

An information sheet about the project is available. At the moment they are targeting adults within the spectrum without learning disabilities.

10 Mar

Worried about employment?
Do you have a child who is an undergraduate student with ASD or is a student in the same course as a student with ASD?

Would you like to help with research what support people with ASD need to gain employment?

Would you like your individual employment profile to help target career development activities?

Dr Beatriz Lopez and The Autism Centre for Employment at the University of Portsmouth are currently conducting research to better understand the factors that influence the employability of undergraduate students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.

To find out how you can help, click here.

15 Feb

Hampshire Autism Voice Survey for adults with autism and their families
Please visit for the latest survey from Hampshire Autism Voice which is aimed at adults with autism (18 and over) and their families. If this does not apply to you, you do not need to complete it. This short survey relates to diagnosis, services, housing and benefits and will take 15-20 minutes to fill in. The survey will close on 29 February 2016.

Please feel free to forward to any other interested parties to circulate as widely as possible so that we get a good response to report back to the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board.

A paper copy is available for those who are not comfortable using the online version. Please contact if required.

The full results of Hampshire Autism Voice's last survey on transition is available on their website at

14 Jan

Social Skills group
We are hoping to run a social skills course in the spring for children with autism aged 7 to 11.

If you have a child within this age range that you think may benefit from this, you can register their interest by completing the registration of interest form and return it to us by Friday 29 January at the latest. Registrations of interest will be considered on a first come, first served basis.

The branch will heavily subsidise these courses so the total cost to parents will be in the region of £65 (which includes food on the last session). Please do not send any money with the form – payment will be required, in advance, once a place has been confirmed.

The courses will be run, as in the past, by Chris Parsons, from Friends of In Touch. Chris and her team have a great deal of experience in working with children with autism and our previous courses have been excellent. We have offered these courses since 2006 (whenever funding has been available) and, to date, over 80 young people have benefitted.

The 6-session course will run over 5 weeks (the last is a double session). We are awaiting confirmation of dates and times but it is most likely to be Saturdays 23 April to 21 May (each session would be 1hour 15 minutes but we are not yet sure if this will be am or pm). The course will be preceded by an advance meeting (possibly Saturday 16 April) which will enable the children to become familiar with the surroundings, for Chris and her team to meet them and for the necessary assessment forms to be completed. The courses will most likely be held in Fair Oak.

The course can accommodate around 6-8 children. The main focus of the course will be on social and communication skills. Each session will build on the previous one, so it is essential that each child attends the full course.

7 Dec

Surviving Christmas
Christmas can be an exciting and fun time, but people with autism may be confused or distressed by all the new activity. With the help of readers of Your Autism Magazine, The National Autistic Society has compiled a list of tips that may help you through the festive period.

Autism resources are also available from The Autism Network.

These include a link to three videos from the NAS: Autism and keeping Christmas fun.

28 Aug
It is important to take children to see the dentist from an early age but if your child/young person has a learning disability or other medical condition, they may find visiting the dentist difficult. Parent Voice has compiled an article on its website offering lots of links to useful resources and organisations with information and advice about visiting the dentist. To read the article please visit their website here or call 03003 038603.

28 Aug
Autism Awareness Learning Resources list from Health Education England
Health Education England is keen to ensure that our workforce have access to appropriate awareness raising resources to enable them to provide appropriate care to people with Autism across all healthcare settings. They have listed resources that have been developed to increase awareness and understanding of autism to enable frontline staff to better recognise and respond more effectively to the needs of adults with autism. Visit

28 Aug
Positive contributions of children with autism to their families
The latest Research Update is out! This issue focuses on the positive contributions children with Autism make to their families. Much research focuses on the negative aspects of the impact that children with Autism have in their family. As you will see from this issue, and you probably know from your own experience, there are also positive aspects of having a child with Autism. You will be able to download this issue from the Hampshire Local Autism Directory.

28 Aug
NAS Young Campaigners
The NAS Young Campaigners are a group of young people with autism in England aged 13-19 who campaign to transform the way society views people with autism. The group provides an opportunity for young people with autism to develop skills, have fun and work with others from around the country to drive change, and for parents to meet one another and share experiences. The group typically meet five times a year in Central London membership is limited to a maximum of two years. For more information visit
Applications are now open to join the group this year. If you know a young person with autism aged 13 – 19 who might want to be involved, please let them know. To apply to join the group contact, if possible by Friday 11 September or as soon after that as possible.

28 Aug
Asperger Southampton
This is a small group which aims to provide knowledge and advice, for adults, on living with Asperger Syndrome. Their service is particularly targeted at those living in Southampton with the condition, plus individuals and organisations that may support or come into contact with them. Visit their Facebook page here.

28 Aug
Friends of in touch
Friends of in touch is a registered charity, in Eastleigh, that supports emotionally and socially vulnerable children and young people with autistic spectrum conditions, and behaviours associated with them. The aim is to enable anxious or socially vulnerable children and young people to feel more engaged with mainstream education and social activity by helping them develop their self-confidence, self-esteem and their coping skills.

There are currently vacancies in their Junior (9 to 13) and Senior (13 to 21) Youth Groups. They meet at Y-Zone Youth Centre, Fair Oak on Tuesdays during term time (Juniors 4.30 to 6.00pm and Seniors 6.30 to 8.30pm). For more details visit  Anyone interested should contact or call 07474 539539.

15 Jul
Challengers Youth Schemes
Challengers' Southampton and Eastleigh Youthschemes are running through the summer and they are still taking bookings for summer and also now booking for autumn term! Contact Sam Durbridge, Play Project Officer, on 01483 230 930 or email  

15 Jul
Positive Autism Stories
Melanie Cosgrave is a mother of 3 children and has a daughter with Aspergers and a son with Autism, who struggle to communicate. She is collecting positive stories/thoughts about autism to hopefully put together to share with others - to give hope. She would love to hear from anyone who is on the autistic spectrum or has a family member or friend that you have a positive story about.  It can be a funny story or kind or happy, just something positive.  And it needs to be a couple of paragraphs long or more. If you could send your story to that would be great. If you have any questions or need any more information please get in touch with Melanie. She is also on Facebook with Positive Autism.

12 Jul
My World, National Autistic Society
The NAS is offering a FREE autism classroom resource pack and fortnightly resource emails for teachers who sign up to My World. Please pass this information on to all teachers you know. Click here for a video with more information or sign up here.

12 Jul
Your guide to a stress-free summer
School holidays can be confusing and difficult to deal with. So how can you make the changes in routine easier for your child? The NAS has put together some good tips to use during the summer holidays. For more information, click here.
Still wondering what to do to fill the extra free hours in the summer holidays? Choose from this list of ideas for great family days out to make the most of the summer holidays.

30 Jun

The next Hampshire Autism Voice Survey is now live 
Please take 10 minutes of you time to help us to gauge feedback about transition services available and how well they are being used.

This short survey is aimed at families of young people that are about to start,going through transition or adults that have been through the process. We expect this to be predominately but not exclusively 14-25 year olds.  It is to gain some an idea of what's happening 'on the ground' and enable you to feed back your comments direct to the HAPB (Hampshire Autism Partnership Board).

Please skip any questions that you feel do not apply to your circumstances. You may answer this survey on behalf of a young person/adult having experienced or currently experiencing the transition process OR as someone with AS that has experienced or is currently experiencing the transition process.

Your responses will be fed back anonymously to the HAPB and your contact details will not be circulated to any third parties. 
Please access the survey here. This survey will close on 24 July 2015.

26 Jun
Autism Alert App
The Autism Alert App, provided by Autism Hampshire, enables people who have autism to share information about their autism and support their autism. It can be used by young people and adults who live in Hampshire (including Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight). It functions on a Smart Phone and you can also have an Alert Card. It can be used to explain your condition to the emergency services, any professional, family member or friends who you chose to share it with. To get the App, contact Community Access team on 02380 633951 or email for an application form. For more information click here.

18 Jun
Days Out With Children With Special Needs
KidRated believes ALL children are entitled to have great days out, so they have made a list of attractions and experiences (mainly in London, but also beyond) that cater really well for children with special needs. Visit their website at The list is growing all the time and they welcome your suggestions for places to be added which may be local to you. This can be done via the website or by emailing

18 Jun

Shaping Hampshire – Spending Review Consultation
Hampshire County Council has announced a new consultation this year “Shaping Hampshire – Spending Review Consultation” which includes questions about increasing council tax and use of reserves, alongside questions about spending priorities. We have also been informed that a further Short Breaks consultation is likely to be launched in September 2015.

We have shown that your voice does make a difference and therefore please take the time to complete the Spending Review consultation at It is vital that families with disabled children participate in this consultation so that our views are heard. You can complete the survey online or you can ask for a printed copy to be sent to you by calling 0300 555 1375. The closing date for responses is Monday 6 July.

We appreciate that your time is precious. Please be aware that it is not compulsory to answer all questions within the consultation, but the following are particularly important:

  • The question about County Council Services, asking you to choose the most important 5 services
  • The question about raising Council Tax
  • The question about using reserves (County Council savings) to support services
  • The question about Children’s Services which asks you to rank potential ways of saving money from this budget
  • The question entitled Budget Priorities – Summing Up which asks again about use of reserves and increased Council Tax to reduce the amount of savings needed from departmental budgets
  • You are given the opportunity to comment on any impact of the proposed cuts
  • You are asked for general comments on how the County Council should prioritise the budget

It would appear that the survey allows more than one response per IP address, so please encourage other members of your household to complete the survey.

Parent Voice, Hampshire Parent Carer Network and some Short Breaks providers have been looking at how Short Breaks services might be delivered within a reduced budget. It is clear that the level of cuts proposed would impact on the whole range of services delivered, from specialist schemes to individual support and the Buddy Service. There is also a very real possibility of a new eligibility criteria to access short breaks which will mean only the few can access.

There are proposed cuts in many service areas so it is important that our voices are heard above the rest. Please take the time to complete this Spending Review survey as soon as you can, and encourage friends. Thank you.

18 Jun

NAS Campaign
The NAS is launching its biggest ever campaign in 2016 to improve public understanding of autism − and needs your views. Please take part in the survey to share your experiences with the NAS.

In a recent opinion poll, over 99% of the UK public said they’d heard of autism. But we know from the stories you tell us that too many of these people don’t have a real understanding of what autism is or how it affects others. This can make the world feel like a hostile place if you're living with autism.

 “You become smaller, and your world becomes a lot smaller too." − Mum of a child with autism

To make sure the NAS’ campaign has the biggest possible impact, they need it to truly reflect your own experiences, both good and bad. They want to hear your views on things like:

  • how other people respond when you are visibly anxious in public
  • who are the people, and what are the places that need to change the most
  • how your family is affected when people show a lack of understanding.
We have supported NAS campaigns in the past so please could you complete their survey at to make sure we focus our campaign on the things that will make the biggest difference to you. Thank you.

29 Apr
Multi-Arts Holiday Activity Days for teenagers and adults 
These fun packed arts days, at The Point, Eastleigh, include dance, drama and visual art as well as a chance to socialise and make new friends. The days will be led by Professional Artist and fully supported. For full details visit their website or contact The Point, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 9DE, tel: 023 8062 7815, email:

25 Apr
Harbour Lights Picturehouse Autism Clubs and Groups, Southampton
Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Ocean Village, Southampton has set up clubs and groups for children and people who are on the Autism spectrum. The groups are as follows:
  • Autism Friendly – these screenings, arranged in partnership with The National Autistic Society (NAS) are designed for people on the autistic spectrum, their families, friends and carers. During the film, low lights are left on inside the auditorium and the volume of the soundtrack is reduced. Cinemagoers are free to move around, make a noise or take a break during the film if they need to – these are activities not usually encouraged at regular screening.
  • Toddler Time – for preschool children, their parents and guardians. Membership is free. Tickets for members are £3, free for accompanying adults. The usual ticket prices apply to non-members and their parents. No adult unaccompanied by a toddler will be admitted.
  • Big Screen – for parents and guardians with babies under one year old. Membership is £5 and valid until the baby’s first birthday. Tickets are at Picturehouse Member’s rates (see above), babies come free. Only customers with babies will be admitted.
Harbour Lights have even set up a children’s area so that they have a place to play, colour and draw. They are also looking into providing toys and activities and hopefully getting some local libraries involved with holding a reading session after certain screenings. For more information call Harbour Lights on 02380 635335.

Please note: so far take up of these activities has been low, so please support them, otherwise we may lose them!

25 Apr
Autism Ambassador Scheme
Can you make a difference to people with autism?

Sign up to be an Ambassador NOW!

The smallest change can make the biggest difference!

Become a community Ambassador or help make your business/organisation Autism friendly
Autism Ambassador is a new scheme being launched by the Autism Partnership Boards of Hampshire, Portsmouth & Isle of Wight to enable our communities to become Autism friendly.

The scheme will be launched on Thursday 14 May in Eastleigh, from 9.00am to 4.30pm.

We are looking for volunteers to become the first Ambassadors, so have a look through the Autism Ambassador website ( to find out more about what it means to be an Ambassador and, if you are keen to join, complete the booking form available on the website to ensure your place at the launch event.

On the day you will be introduced to the Ambassador role, receive Autism awareness training, pledge how you will make a difference and meet fellow Ambassadors.

To register your interest to take part in this fantastic project, please complete the booking form and email it to Also contact this email address for further information or an answerphone/text facility for you to leave a message is also available on 07480 615037.

Please submit any registration requests by Wednesday 6 May so that all information can be processed.

If you know of others who may be interested to become Ambassadors and make a difference, please forward this information to them.

25 Apr
Hampshire Autism Voice Network first survey    
As you will know from previous newsletters, Hampshire Autism Voice (the parent/carer/people with autism group on the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board) have set up the HAV Network ( to enable people to be able to express their views on how autism is supported in the county – so this can be fed back to the Board.

Their first survey is now out and they would like as many people as possible, whether with autism, parents, carers and people who work with autism, to complete this initial survey. This will give HAV an indication of what the priorities are and how to target further surveys to gain your views on specific aspects of autism.

The survey can be found at The survey closes on Friday 15 May.

Please feel free to circulate this link to any others who may be interested.
This is your chance to have your say – many thanks for your support.

13 Apr
Recent Radio 4 Programmes with Autism theme
There have recently been two broadcasts on Radio 4’s ‘One to One’ on an Autism theme, with John Harris talking to Prof Simon Baron-Cohen ( and John Harris talking to Penny Andrews (

13 Apr
Member to run London Marathon – your support needed
One of our branch members, Jason Hurndall, is running the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon on 26 April 2015 for the National Autistic Society. He would be delighted is any of you might be willing to donate some money. Any donation you can give would be fantastic; even the smallest amount all adds up. All the details can be found at

13 Apr
New rights for adults with autism to get care and support in England
The Care Act 2014 came in to force on

13 Apr
Hampshire’s Children and Young People’s Plan Consultation
Hn and Young People’s Plan sets out how the Children’s Trust will improve outcomes for children and young people. A new Plan will be launched in 2015 and consultation on the priorities is about to begin. They would welcome your views and comments; visit to access the guidance and survey. The consultation runs until 27 April, and feedback received will help inform the final Plan. If you would like to complete the survey in another format, call 0300 555 1375.

6 Mar
Different Together – Support for partners of people with Asperger syndrome
Being in touch with others in your situation can be a lifeline for the NT partner in a relationship. That connection can come as a great relief, validating how you’ve felt and taking away feelings of frustration and isolation. Different Together is a safe, supportive and understanding community for the partners of people affected by Asperger syndrome. Meeting up can be a great way to learn from others and to share experiences about the often frustrating life of loving an adult with Asperger syndrome.

A local group is meeting in Winchester on Saturday 14 March at Starbucks on the High Street, between 10:30am and 13:30pm. For more details, join their online group at

5 Mar
Autism Centre for Employment
We mentioned below (15 February) about the setting up a new and exciting employment programme which will take place this year. The Autism Research Network, in partnership with Portsmouth, Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight councils have recently received funding from the Department of Health to set up an Autism Centre for Employment (ACE) which will provide work placements for adults with autism without learning disabilities.

ACE is now looking for Mentors who will provide one-to-one support for clients with autism who are undertaking a work placement as part of the project. ACE will cover all reasonable travel expenses to the workplace, the training fees and hospitality associated to the training events.

If you are interested to find out more about this, please click here

26 Feb
Higher Education and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Parent Support Meeting, Romsey
Have you concerns about your child going to university with ASD? Want to find out what support is available? Then go along to The Romsey School, Greatbridge, Romsey, SO51 8ZB on Saturday 28 March from 10.00am to 1.00pm for an opportunity to chat to Higher Education professionals. At the conference the University representatives will explain the application procedure, different courses and support available. We will also be present at this event with our stand. You will have an opportunity to network during the coffee break and between 12.30 to 1.00pm. For more details, email or call 01794 512334 or view the flyer.

23 Feb
Hampshie Autism Voice Network 
Hampshire Autism Voice (HAV) is the parent, carers and people with autism group established within the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board (HAPB).

HAV has been developed to give a voice and active involvement to people with autism, their families and carers within the HAPB and the autism strategy work streams. HAV actively participates in the planning, delivery and monitoring of services for children, young people and adults with autism living in Hampshire.

They are working to establish a HAV Network which they hope will be operational during Spring 2015 and they need your help!

HAV are looking for the following groups of people below to participate in occasional surveys in order to gain your views on various aspects of how Autism is supported. This will be fed back anonymously to the HAPB. Email is preferred but a postal option can be set up.
  • People with Autism
  • Families of people with Autism
  • Support Workers
  • Organisations that work with people with Autism
With your help they can make sure that your views are represented and supported in the Hampshire Autism Strategies.

Please reply to indicating which group from above you represent. They look forward to hearing from you soon.

Many Thanks

15 Feb
Serendipity Social Groups
The Autism Partnership Boards and leading local autism groups in Hampshire are working together to develop an exciting and innovative project which will establish a network of social groups for local adults who have Asperger syndrome or High Functioning Autism. Many people with autism are severely disadvantaged by the difficulties they have with social interaction, communication and sensory issues and can easily become isolated from their community.

The team is working to set up a network of small, distinctive, user-led social groups, with adults who have Asperger syndrome or High Functioning Autism, across Southampton, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP). The groups will be facilitated by volunteers and based in community venues such as a community café, college or pub. Autism Hampshire has run a very successful pilot to develop this model.

For further information please contact: Kathryn Cornish - Community Access Project Officer, Community Access - Autism Hampshire, Suite 1c, Fairways House, Mount Pleasant Road, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 0QB; Telephone:  023 8063 3951; Email:; Website:

15 Feb
Autism Centre for Employment (ACE)
ACE is a new local service which helps people with autism to find and keep employment. Their services include:
  • Recruiting autism friendly employers in your local area.
  • Training employers to create a supportive and productive environment.
  • Providing comprehensive individual assessments designed to identify your specific strengths and skills with the aim to create workplace strategies that leverage these abilities.
  • Helping you undertake useful work experience with the support of our trained mentors.
  • Providing you with a comprehensive Employment Profile report.
To find out more about their services, which are FREE, contact: 023 9284 6344; Email:; Web: A referral form is available here.

15 Feb
Challengers Play and Youth Schemes
Challengers are running Playschemes and Youthschemes in the area. It’s nearly time to book Challengers events for Easter Holiday and the Summer Term – all events running between 30 March and 28 July 2015. For information visit: and or for any help or advice email or call 01483 230 939.

15 Feb
Help with research
We have been contacted by University of Winchester student, Charlotte Spruce, who is studying for a degree in Psychology. She is undertaking a research project called ‘An exploration of differing attitudes towards different family behaviours’.
This study requires you to fill out an online questionnaire which should take around 30minutes to complete. As part of this study you will be asked to write a detailed paragraph or two on a personal experience where your child was considered by others to have misbehaved in public followed by a number of statements about individuals with disabilities which you are asked to rate in terms of whether you agree or disagree.

If you would like to find out more and contribute to her research, please visit Charlotte would be most appreciative of your help.

15 Feb
Calling all coffee drinkers!
Do you or your friends, colleagues use Tassimo coffee machines? If so, you can help us raise funds.

Tassimo wants to save TDISCs and outer flow wrap packaging from going to landfill. For the total weight of the TDISCs and outer foil packaging we collect, we are be awarded TerraCycle points which are converted into cash for our chaund £400.
Please bring along your TDISCs and outer flow wrap packaging (they do not have to be cleaned) to any of our meetings/activities. Even better, get all your friends involved too.

Als local supermarket or place where a collection bin could be sited, please let us know.

15 Feb
Circus Starr
Circus Starr is a charitable organisation that supports disabled, underprivileged and vulnerable children through its world class show. Full details can be found on their website at Some of you attended a performance last year and the feedback from this was excellent.

This year, we have again been offered 50 free tickets for the performance on Wednesday 27 May 2015 (Spring Bank Holiday half term week) at Riverside Park, Manor Farm Road, Southampton, SO18 1DE at 4.45pm.

If you would like tickets for this performance, email straight away as tickets are being offered on a 'first come – first served' basis. A maximum of four tickets are available per family.

The only other 'condition' is that, after the event, you let me have your comments about the show, or send in any pictures your children make about the show – this is so we can send these to the organisers who, in turn, can pass these to the local businesses who have donated your tickets. This will help them secure the support of local businesses for future funding.

Details for collecting the tickets will be sent to you on confirmation of your order.

So, get in quick in order not to miss out!

11 Jan
Hampshire CAMHS Participation Project – ACE
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provide Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Hampshire and is looking to set up a participation project across the county called ACE. They would like to recruit young people, parents and carers to get involved in how their services are run, and get involved much more widely with tasks and activities.

This is not just for those who have accessed CAMHS. They feel that all young people have a view and should have an influence on how services are managed and run for those that need CAMHS. It is also about getting involved in raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental and emotional/psychological difficulties.

An application form, wellness guidelines, poster and a flyer outlining what ACE is, are available here.

For more information, please contact Helen Dove,


For older news items, click here

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

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