The NAS is the leading UK charity for people with autism, including Asperger syndrome and their families, providing information, support and pioneering services, and campaigning for a better world for people with autism. Their website is full of useful information and well worth a visit. Their work relies on your support, so please get involved or donate today. Below are a few things that NAS is supporting right now, please take a look:
A big cheer for a great year. Take a look at what you did in 2017
Sign our open letter. Make sure no child is held back in their education because they're autistic. Sign our open letter and join the campaign
World Autism Awareness Week 26 March - 2 April 2018. Sign up and get a free fundraising guide packed full of ideas and fun activities
Employ me Q&A. Read our Q&A with autistic job seeker Erica, who starred in Emploable Me.
Autism Helpline: tel: 0808 800 4104 (mon-fri, 10 am-4 pm)
or complete online form which can be found: www.autism.org.uk/helpline
The NAS Autism Helpline provides impartial, confidential information and advice for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families and carers.
If you phone, the Helpline will take details of your query and arrange a telephone appointment for you with our community care case worker. The case worker will call you back at the agreed time to discuss your query in detail.
If you email, give as much information as possible about your query. They aim to respond to email enquiries within 10 working days.
Too Much Information Campaign
The reaction to the NAS Campaign so far has been even better than had been hoped. Thousands of people have watched and commented on the TMI film online.
Now introducing... Too Much Information and Us, a new film series made with groups of autistic people talking about their experiences of autism. Take a look here to watch them on YouTube:
There’s too much information and so many new words that it makes me malfunction - Needing extra time to process information (episode 1)
All I could do was concentrate on the noise, it was almost painful - Experiencing sensory overload (episode 2)
You just end up feeling really embarrassed and like it’s your fault - Experiencing anxiety in social situations (episode 3)
Experiencing meltdowns and shutdowns (episode 4)
Real stories are being shared on the NAS website every day, why not take a look. Do you have a story you'd like to share? If so the NAS would love to hear from you, so please email them on: email@example.com.
Or - what about sensory issues with clothing? The NAS are going to create a series of dramatic images alongside children and adults describing what clothing feels like for them. Can you give them a quote describing your experience saying, for example, 'rough materials feel like a brillo pad'. An image will then be created and shown of a jumper with sleeves made of brillo pads. The purpose is to get the public to understand in a clear and simple way what sensory issues people with autism can experience.
Henry Barnes, our NAS SW Campaigns Officer, made a mural outside the NAS office in London on the Campaign launch day. A video of him doing this was made which you can see on this link.
Want an autism-friendly high street?
Public spaces can be overwhelming for an autistic person trying to deal with too much information. Autistic people and their families give up using shops, restaurants and other high street outlets because they do not find them accessible, and their worlds shrink. These are places other people might expect to visit without a second thought. We found that:
79% of autistic people feel socially isolated
70% of families living with autism feel socially isolated
The British Retail Consortium represents over 80% of the UK’s high street. We’re asking them to work with their membership, which includes some of the country’s biggest retailers, to make the high street autism-friendly.
Do you have a question about your child's transition to adult life or further education? Our Transition Support Service can help. They give confidential, impartial information and advice to parents and carers. Leave a message on 0808 800 0027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and a volunteer will get back to you.
The service offers family workshops and seminars for branches and other groups. These can include presentations, group discussions, and one-on-one appointments. Email Rachel.email@example.com to find out more about the sessions and costs. To find out more on the NAS website
Cristina Imaguire organises the NAS Out of Schools Clubs which take place in: Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire, Nailsea, Bridgwater.
These are for children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome who are aged between 8 -18 years
Please see flier for more information. Cristina would be very pleased to hear from anyone interested in joining.
Will you make one small change to stop the overload?
Last World Autism Awareness Week, 10-year-old Alex showed over 56 million people what it’s like to have sensory overload in a shopping centre. One year on, in our unnerving new film, 12-year-old Holly will show them how not getting enough processing time feels… Like everything’s building up. Like your brain is too crowded – and about to explode.
77% of autistic people feel the public don’t understand their need for extra processing time. Holly says:
"If just one person sees the film and is more understanding of autistic people, I’ll be happy. People can do really simple things to help, like not rushing someone to respond to a question. Small changes can often make the biggest difference."
Big change can come from lots of little actions. As someone close to autism, you already know what these small things can be, but we need to come together to teach the public too. Pledge to make a small change today to help reduce the overload. Then share it with your family, friends and colleagues.