AUTISM CONCERN UPDATE – CHILDREN’S SERVICES

AUTISM CONCERN UPDATE – CHILDRENS SERVICES

 

We are delighted to announce that following the AGM last week, it was unanimously agreed by the membership that Autism Concern would be merging with Autism East Midlands from the 1st January 2018.  Not only does this secure our short term stability and long term aspirations, but it also gives us an even greater level of credibility at this time of change.  Whilst we will be looking to extend our services beyond what we currently do, even looking to move into the adult market, we realise that the vast majority of users access our children’s services at present.

 

We are pleased to announce that Dawn Franklin, who currently heads up children’s services at Autism East Midlands, will now be including Autism Concern within her role effective immediately.  Dawn has been responsible for introducing some innovative and award winning ideas which we are incredibly excited about seeing introduced for the children of this county.  Moreover she is already talking about how we can expand, develop, improve and modernise our current offering whilst including even greater numbers.  As a result her and Mary Stanley (senior manager for adult services at Autism East Midlands and joint acting MD of Autism Concern) have several meetings planned with the Local Authority commissioners in order to expand upon these ideas and lend their expertise to the current consultation process.

 

We need to let it be known that Wendy Hunter, our current Operations Manager, has decided to take on another role outside of the organisation.  We are proud to say that Wendy was in fact headhunted, which we take as a validation of the quality and high regard Autism Concern is held in.   She will be working in a senior role within Autism in the county, but leaves us still being a supporter and advocate of Autism Concern.  We are grateful to her for the work she has done for us and look forward to continuing the relationship albeit in a different capacity.

 

This means that there is a fresh opportunity for us to expand the team, and we will be advertising for a new role soon.  The position will be a little different – we have modernised it and made it more hands on, plus, taking direction from Dawn, they will have the opportunity to work more closely with the children and families we support within the community.

 

Our existing services, namely the help and advice and ADHD Matters activities will continue to operate as they are, with Lesley, Cindy and Zoe continuing to do a great job.  Early into next year we will look at how we can develop these also.

 

To clarify – there have not been nor will there be any redundancies caused by this merger.  In fact we want to grow the team and we are confident that anyone who joins us will be doing so at the most exciting time for the children’s services.  We now have more experience, more reach and more resources than at any other time in our 25 year history.

 

We will continue to work with our community and update you as and when we have more news.  But please do feel free to drop anyone in the office an email, pick up the phone or pop in to see us.  We are all about making this charity inclusive, but we do need your support in order for us to deliver a great service to those with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and their families.

 

From The Board of Trustees on behalf of Autism Concern

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The Future of Autism in Northamptonshire – 2nd November 2017

The Future of Autism in Northamptonshire is a Round Table Discussion and Annual Showcase. Sharing our success as a charity over the past 12 months and our plans to continue to support the autism community in Northampton into 2018 and beyond.

We hope you will join us and welcome this opportunity to learn more about the help we provide in the community, to both children and their parents. As well as sharing our successes we invite you to put your questions to our panel of experts as part of our round table discussion. We have a great line up already with more still to add.

The Kings Park Conference Centre is a great backdrop for this event and we hope you will join us afterwards for a buffet lunch and a chance to meet our team if you haven’t had the pleasure already. Please feel free to reserve your place via the link below and we hope to see you there!

thefutureofautism.eventbrite.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Twycross Zoo Trip – Fully Booked

Our Twycross Zoo trip is now fully booked but we still have spaces on the wonderful Pumpkin Hunt at Castle Ashby Gardens. The Pumpkin Hunt has grown in popularity over the past few years and is one of the must visit Halloween days out for families in Northamptonshire. Lots of fun to be had and really interactive!

If you would like to book your child a space please email [email protected] or cal 01604 239404 today!

24th October – Pumpkin Hunt

Age group: 6-12 years
Venue: Castle Ashby Gardens
Address: Castle Ashby, Northampton, NN7 1LQ
Time: 10am – 2pm
Cost: £10 per child
Activity: Follow the trail around the gardens to find the hidden pumpkins, once found copy the face on the paper provided. Find all the pumpkins to win a prize! Child friendly event. Fancy Dress optional but please do remember weather appropriate clothing

(Please provide your child with a packed lunch and plenty of drinks)

Only 10 places available!!

 

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Meet Lesley our new Autism Helpline Advisor!

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce our newest member of the Autism Concern team, Lesley Lock. Lesley has joined us within our family support team and we are delighted to have her on board! Over to you Lesley…

Hi, I’m Lesley, Autism Concern’s new Autism Helpline Advisor. I’m a mum of two girls of secondary school age, and we live East Northamptonshire (I’ve been trying to move my Hertfordshire-born husband back to Scotland, where I’m from, for the past 20 years – he’s now noticed the gradual move North and we have settled in Northants!) .

I’ve been self-employed for a national parenting charity for the last 12 years, supporting parents who are struggling with life with babies and small children, and I’m looking forward to bringing these skills into my new full time role with Autism Concern.

I’m also passionate about volunteering, and the skills and energy that volunteers can bring to an organisation. My main volunteering role at present is as a school governor for a Junior school, with a special interest in Pupil Premium children – Pupil Premium is a sum of money given to schools each year to provide facilities and opportunities to support pupils for whom there may be barriers to learning.

When I’m not working, or acting as a mum taxi to various sports clubs and music gigs, I spend much of my time knitting or crocheting (often in the car, waiting for my girls, or while watching them play sport, much to their embarrassment), or looking at websites for new wool to add to my stash!

Welcome to the team! Lesley and the rest of the team who form the Information, Advice and Guidance Service are available to speak to on the support line (0808 808 9090) and by email on [email protected]

Remember, it is not necessary to have a diagnosis to access our services, which include:

  • Emotional support
  • Behavioural advice
  • Signposting to community services
  • Training and awareness
  • Understanding autism spectrum conditions
  • Support with filling in benefits forms and applications
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October Half Term

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September – December Youth Group Dates

We are delighted to confirm our September to December Youth Group dates. Parents who are on our mailing list will receive emails in the next week or so with allocation dates for these sessions along with dates for Saturdays, Bespoke and Activity Days. As always if there is anything you need help with please contact the office on 01604 239404.

Youth Groups

13-18 Years Youth Group dates: September – December 

Towcester – Greens Norton Community Centre, Towcester Road, Greens Norton, NN12 8BL

Wednesday 13th September

Wednesday 11th October

Wednesday 15th November

Wednesday 6th December

Wednesday 13th December

Corby – The Stephenson Way Community Centre, 18-28 Stephenson Way, Corby, NN17 1DA

Thursday 19th October

Thursday  23rd November

Thursday 14th December

Northampton – The Abbey Centre, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ

Tuesday 19th September

Tuesday 3rd October

Tuesday 17th October

Tuesday 7th November

Tuesday 21st November

Tuesday 5th December

Junior 8-12 Years Youth Group dates: September – December 

Towcester – Greens Norton Community Centre, Towcester Road, Greens Norton, NN12 8BL

Launch date – 22nd November

Corby – The Stephenson Way Community Centre, 18-28 Stephenson Way, Corby, NN17 1DA

Thursday 12th October

Thursday 16th November

Thursday 7th December

Northampton 

Dates TBC – Coming Soon

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Autism Concern Jubilee Tea Party

Last week we hosted our very own Afternoon Tea for AC in the form of our jubilee tea party. The event was an opportunity to thank our fundraisers, hear about how our work impacts our community and learn about future aspirations.

The day was wonderful with treats donated from local businesses and a centrepiece cake crafted by Gardners Bakery in Kingsthorpe. We would also like to take the time to thank all who have supported Autism Concern over the last 25 years and we hope you will continue to be a part of our journey in the future.

Here are some photos from the event, we wonder if you can spot any familiar faces!
Jubilee cupcakes

Jubilee Cake

Jubilee Cake from Gardners Bakery

AC Team tea party
cake cutting
colouring sheets jubilee
DSC_0132

Maddie and Ted card tricks
maddie card tricks
networking
Stagecoach cheque presentation
stand with little helper
tea party 2
tea party 3
Tea party cakes
tea party networking
tea party outside
Tea party
Ted colouring in
Wendy and Zoe Tea Party

 

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The jubilee raffle winners are….

Our winning jubilee raffle ticket numbers are as follows:

1st 01648
2nd 02512
3rd 00395
4th 05649
5th 05631
6th 01732
7th 02632
8th 01733
9th 01667
10th 04684
11th 00165
12th 00440
13th 02145
14th 02036
15th 00772
16th 01920
17th 00287
18th 02391

All winners have been notified. A massive thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket for your donations to Autism Concern!

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Puberty, Adolescence and the ASD Factor

Puberty, Adolescence and the ASD Factor

Puberty, Adolescence and the ASD Factor is a training workshop in collaboration with Target Autism. Running on 13th September 2017 at the Nene Whitewater Centre in Northampton.

Local trainers and Autism Consultants, Ron Fortuna and Angela Capper from Target Autism will deliver this training workshop aimed to develop both knowledge and a practical understanding of how to support young people through issues arising during puberty and adolescence. Both Angela and Ron have a wealth of experience working with young people accross the autism spectrum and supporting parents, carers and professionals with the physical, emotional and social issues that young people can experience.

This training event is suitable for all parents, carers and professionals living and working with young people and teenagers on the Autism Spectrum. for more information about the session’s content, contact Angela on 07549 639929 or [email protected]

Book your place today

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My Autism – A Poem by Tasha Krywald aged 17

My Autism – A Poem by Tasha Krywald aged 17

There is more to some people,

Than meets the eye,

My tantrums no tantrum,

My shy isn’t shy,

My panic isn’t exaggerated,

But instead it’s my mind,

That tells me these experiences,

Are not what I should find.

I sometimes get nervous,

Sometimes I will run,

I might laugh at the wrong moment,

Or have too much fun.

I can struggle with talking,

And society alike,

It took me quite long,

To learn how to ride a bike.

In fact everything I do,

Takes a little longer,

But my weaknesses also,

Help to make me stronger.

Sometimes I forget,

Sometimes I get scared,

And I always need

To ensure I’m prepared.

I need a schedule,

I form attachments so fast,

I get confused,

Between present, future and past.

I struggle to explain what I mean,

And always ask ‘why’

I shake, I stutter,

I laugh but I cry.

I have these moments,

Meltdowns they are called,

When I have little control,

It’s like my brain has stalled.

I struggle with trust,

Sensations make me fear,

And when faced with the unknown,

I try to keep clear,

But I am also so smiley,

Friendly and caring,

I like to join in,

And I can be quite daring.

I face my fears,

And my challenges too,

There is very little,

I cannot do.

I try my hardest,

And I usually succeed,

I have so much love,

And I do not have greed.

I try to stay smiling,

A character I can be,

I may be different,

But it doesn’t define me!

There is a special thing,

That makes me this way,

An awesome difference,

That affects me every day.

It is no negative,

Just happens to be,

That autism is

A part of me!! ☺️

By Tasha Krywald

Age 17

image1 (2)

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