Autism West Midlands have produced some useful information sheets that are free, downloadable PDFs that you can print off easily from your computer.
They contain practical advice and strategies for families, carers, teachers and other professionals, visit their website here
We’d love to keep in touch and send you regular updates. These will include details of activities and events for people with autism, news about our services, fundraising updates, information on training, etc.
If you’d like to receive these, please click here.
Parentline is a secure and confidential text service for parents and carers of those aged 0-19. Provided by Bedfordshire Community Health Services it offers advice and support on a range of issues such as weaning, sleep and emotional health or how to make an appointment with our team. This is also a great mechanism to find out how to access other local services.
Simply text 07507 331456 with your question to start the conversation – the team will be there to answer your queries from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
For young people aged 11-19 years old, there is ChatHealth, a text service where young people can get advice from the school nursing team. Find out more about ChatHealth here.
By law, each local authority has to provide an online special needs directory known as a ‘Local Offer’ which details all available services to those with a special need or with a family member with special needs. The local offers for the three unitary authorities for the county of Bedfordshire can be accessed below:
Bedford Borough https://sendguide.bedford.gov.uk/
Central Bedfordshire http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/children/sen-disability/landing.aspx
An Education, Health and Care plan (“EHC plan”) is a legal document which describes a child or young person’s special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve. An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
For further information on EHC Plans and the assessment process, please visit the following website https://www.ipsea.org.uk/
Due to high demands across the county, we are currently holding waiting lists for all our term-time LOAF and Wanted Fun groups. Please contact us directly if you would like to be added to a waiting list.
Most of our services do have fees associated. However costs do vary depending on the service. To access some of our services (not all) you may also need to become a member of Autism Bedfordshire. Lifetime membership is currently charged at £20.
This is dependent on the service and the funding criteria. For our core services such as LOAF, Wanted Fun and Summer Scheme you do need to live in Bedfordshire. Our helpline and some of our parent training is accessible for all.
To access most of our services (not all) you will need to become a member. For further details and to download a membership form please click here https://www.autismbedfordshire.net/become-a-member/
If you would like to receive information on our services without becoming a member then please complete our online form, here https://autismbedfordshire.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ca6736d61153b2aae556a7195&id=83d7004571
Please visit our Parent/Carer training page for current opportunities https://www.autismbedfordshire.net/training/
We realise that the diagnostic process can be very lengthy and therefore we do not require a formal diagnosis to be in place in order to access our services. We offer a variety of support and opportunities which are specifically tailored to support autistic young people and their families.
If you feel your child is on the autism spectrum, there are a variety of professionals you can speak to who will be able to make a referral for assessment. Along with your GP there are also other professionals who may be able to make a referral for assessment dependant on your local diagnostic pathway. These could include speech and language therapists, SENCOs, Early Years Teams, Educational Psychologists and Autism Advisory teachers.
For further information, please take a look at the National Autistic Society’s information below on diagnosis https://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/children.aspx##referral
If you suspect that you or someone that you know has autism and you would like to seek a diagnosis then the first step is to speak with your GP or another health professional to ask for a referral to the Bedfordshire Adult Autism Service.
For more information visit the Bedfordshire Adult Autism Service website .
Yes, for more information visit our membership page
All of our services are heavily subsidised but some do require a small contribution. More details can be found on the service pages.How can I access your services?