Autism Berkshire’s mission is to help and support autistic children, young people and adults in Berkshire and their families. The charity was founded as the Berkshire Autistic Society in 1990 by a group of parents of children with autism, related conditions and challenging behaviours.
This personal connection remains central to Autism Berkshire’s work almost 30 years later - most of the staff, volunteers and trustees have children, relatives or friends on the autism spectrum and/or extensive professional experience of autism. The charity aims to enhance the current provision of services and support throughout the county, to improve the quality of life of autistic people and their families, give them maximum independence and reduce isolation.
Autism Berkshire Does This By:
- Providing information and advice – through an autism helpline, a benefits service offering help to individuals and families with applications and appeals; a website; social media; regular e-newsletters; and publications.
- Running accessible social and leisure activities – these include youth groups and trampolining for children and teenagers; social and activity groups for autistic adults; and fun days for families.
- Providing autism-specific training and support – workshops about aspects of autism for parents and carers and advice on the NHS autism assessment process; social and life skills courses for autistic adults; courses about staying safe online for autistic young people and their parents; training about autism for professionals in sectors including education, policing, public transport and retail.
- Working with education, health, emergency and employment services and the six main local authorities in Berkshire to deliver autism-appropriate services – the charity runs a number of services commissioned by councils and NHS clinical commissioning groups and are represented on the autism partnership boards in each council area.
- Raising awareness in the wider community to promote greater understanding of autism – issuing the Berkshire Autism Alert Card; attending a range of community events; and supporting national campaigns including Autism Awareness Week and efforts to encourage shops to offer Quiet Hours to help autistic customers.
Families really value the services provided by Autism Berkshire. Recent comments from parents about training workshops and leisure services include:
“Thank you so much for all the information and help. I’ve learned so much and don’t feel quite so alone.”
“We felt totally listened to… everything that we raised and other parents raised was listened to and responded to.”
“Thank you so much for the fun day at Thames Valley Adventure Playground yesterday. It was a brilliant venue and my son and his friends had an amazing time.”
“Both my boys have benefited from trampolining. Rebound therapy has had enormously positive effects. We count ourselves as very fortunate to have had access to these fantastic sessions.”
Find out more about Autism Berkshire and how to get involved at their website http://www.autismberkshire.org.uk
Autisim Berkshire took part in our February 2019 charity poll and came in first place, winning a donation of £139.22. For the month of April 2020, we are delighted to welcome back to the charity poll once at again! Cast your vote for them today!