Information, Advice & Guidance

For adults, young people and children on the autism spectrum, their parents, carers and professionals

Information, Advice & Guidance Service

Please note that although we are still available by phone, there is no access to our offices at this time. See Message from our CEO for details.

We are available on the telephone (Monday to Thursday 9 am - 5 pm, Friday 9 am - 4:30 pm) and by email. Autism Hampshire offers an information, advice, and guidance service for adults, young people and children on the autism spectrum, their parents, carers and professionals. The service is available free of charge for people in Hampshire including Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

General Enquiries Tel: 02380 766162


Information, Advice & Guidance Offices:

Autism Hampshire, 1646 Parkway, Whiteley, Fareham, PO15 7AH Tel: 02380 766162

COVID 19 and Looking After Yourself

Keeping yourself and others safe this winter. With lots of confusing messages in circulation about Covid 19, we have partnered up with the NHS to give you clear information that is easy to understand. Please find useful guides below:

Covid 19 and looking after yourself: A guide for people on the autistic spectrum - Long version Covid 19 and looking after yourself: A guide for people on the autistic spectrum - Short version

The team have extensive information and knowledge of Hampshire-wide autism related services. They offer information, advice, guidance, support and signposting.

The team also present and attend events to offer support and advice and to raise autism awareness.

This service is available pre-, during and post-diagnosis. They support adults, young people and children on the autism spectrum.

You can contact them by telephone or e-mail. They can offer a telephone or a face to face meeting by appointment in their Portsmouth office.


Artist Deborah Goatley-Birch (nee Ireland) and describes the support she received from Autism Hampshire's Information, Advice & Guidance service and how it helped her as the parent of a child who is on the autism spectrum.

The Information, Advice & Guidance Department is funded through Southampton City Council and CCG, Portsmouth Council and a Hampshire County Council Adult Services Grant to offer support for adults with autism, their families and those connected to them, professionals and the wider autism community.

The Service is based in Southampton and Portsmouth, but also offers drop-in sessions across Hampshire. The Support Service provides advice, guidance signposting and support to:

  • People who do not yet have an autism diagnosis or who have been referred by their GP for a diagnosis
  • People after a diagnosis of autism, with specific face-to-face support in helping people understand their diagnosis, what is means for them, and how to make plans to make their life better
  • People on the autism spectrum, their families and other people involved in the person’s life and professionals pre-diagnosis, during a diagnosis and post-diagnosis. The advice, guidance, signposting and support is on-going, for as long as a person wishes
  • People who feel they present with autism characteristics, but do not have a formal diagnosis of autism, their families, others involved in the person’s life and professionals.
  • Anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of autism. Autism Hampshire manages the Local Autism Directory (LAD) and is able to signpost to a variety of services and information.

Diagnostic support:

Autism Alert Programme

Our Autism Alert programme supports people who are on the autism spectrum should they find themselves in any type of contact with the police or other emergency services. There is a wallet card, a car badge and an autism assistant app; all of which are provided free for any Hampshire resident.

For more information or to request a card or the app, please contact our Information and Advice team.

Spectra5 Autism Assistant App

Autism Hampshire’s Autism Alert App has been upgraded and by following a few simple steps, you can enjoy the benefits of the new improved version, which is now called the Spectra5 Autism Assistant App.

Please use Spectra5 App form to apply for your Spectra5 app.

For the application form and more information CLICK HERE.

Autism Alert - Wallet Card

This yellow card should be carried at all times and shown to the police or emergency services in the case of an incident, enabling them to offer appropriate support and contact a named person listed on the back of the card.

Autism Alert - Car Badge

The yellow Autism Alert car badge is to be placed with information facing inwards, blank side outwards, in the bottom left hand corner of the windscreen. It is designed to fit in a windscreen permit holder. In the event of an incident, emergency services would be able to identify that a person who is on the autism spectrum may be on board.

In addition these can be placed strategically in your home so that if emergency services attend you at home, they are aware that someone in the house is on the autism spectrum.

We operate a well-stocked library with specialist books on all aspects of autism which are free to borrow.

Please call 02380 766162 to arrange a visit to the library.

Resources that may help people with autism are available to borrow for a short time or to view.

Items such as weighted blankets, ear defenders and timers are made available to borrow for a small deposit.

The Information, Advice & Guidance team host a variety of opportunities to get together for families, parents and carers, to share experiences and to meet other people. These are free to attend, and take place in a variety of venues across the county.

A wide variety of groups are run by other organisations to support people with autism, parents and carers. We keep a regularly updated list of all local groups for both adults and children, and list them on the Local Autism Directory

Members of the Information, Advice and Guidance Department regularly give informal talks or presentations on aspects of autism to groups and professionals. Please contact the team for more information.

The National Autistic Society website also provides increased awareness and understanding of autism, detailing some useful examples of autism awareness training that currently exists.

Here are a list of useful websites

COVID 19 and Looking After Yourself: A guide for people on the autistic spectrum

99 Questions About Autism - answers to question about autism

Ageing with Autism - free E-Book

An Easy Read Guide to Anxiety - from the Mental Health Foundation

Life Support Productions - online education resources about sex and relationships for children and young people with learning disabilities

Preparing Family Members for you Asperger's Child's Behaviour - tips for holidays

Scope Disability Forum - sharing ideas from parents, carers, teachers and therapists with autism/learning disabilities experience

Staying Safe Out and About - an easy read guide for people with learning disabilities

Understanding Autism - useful information sheet

Working Together with your Child's School - guide for parents/carers

Working with schools - supporting a child with sensory issues

How to Calm a Child With Autism - techniques for avoiding and managing meltdowns

How to Create a Safe, Sensory-Friendly Backyard Landscape for Your Child With Special Needs

Being prepared for a hospital visit or emergency can make a real difference to the care you receive.

The Care Passport is a document that you can complete and update at any time. It tells people such as nurses, paramedics and doctors about your condition and how best to communicate and interact with you. It might save valuable time and avoid misunderstandings, hopefully leading to a better care experience all round.

You can use the Care Passport anywhere you think staff would benefit from the information.

You can download the Care Passport and complete it at any time. It is a good idea to then keep a printed copy to hand and perhaps share it with a family member or carer should it ever be needed.

My care passport for hospital and care settings


Every day working in Information, Advice & Guidance is different, every individual, parent/carer or professional that comes to us has a different question or support need. At times my role can be very challenging but when someone tells you that the advice given has made a difference to their lives it is worth every minute. I am lucky that I work with a wonderful team of people and together our mission is to support people through any challenges that they are facing to enable them to embrace the autism spectrum within their lives.

Katie - Information, Advice & Guidance Officer

© Autism Hampshire, all rights reserved. Charity Reg No: 288141. Reg. No. 01710300