Information, Advice & Guidance

For adults, young people and children with autism, their parents, carers and professionals

Information, Advice & Guidance Service

Our information Advice and Guidance team offers a wide range of free services to support individuals, families, and professionals as well as raising autism awareness within the local community.

This service is available pre, during and post diagnosis via the telephone, by email or by appointment at our Hampshire based office.

We are available on the telephone (Monday to Friday 9 am - 5 pm) and by email. Autism Hampshire offers an information, advice, and guidance service for autistic people, their parents, carers and professionals. The service is available free of charge for people in Hampshire including Southampton and Portsmouth.

General Enquiries Tel: 02380 766162


Information, Advice & Guidance Offices: Autism Hampshire, 1646 Parkway, Whiteley, Fareham, PO15 7AH

Southampton Autism Hub supports individuals (child and adults), with a diagnosis of Autism, living in Southampton.

We provide direct assistance to help you with particular issues you might be facing, such as housing, or to help you achieve a specific goal, such as applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

We offer 1-2-1 support, peer group support and training on autism awareness.

The hub was created to provide signposting to further advice and guidance to support individuals, families, parents, carers and professionals.

We offer free Autism Support and Information workshops to families and individuals living in Hampshire. These workshops are for families of children and young people who are awaiting an autism assessment in Hampshire.

The aim of the sessions are to provide insight, advice and support prior or during an assessment and diagnosis. Each session will explore a different aspect of your child’s unique way of experiencing the world, and suggest practical ways in which their differences can be accommodated and supported.

Each workshop is 3 hours long. The first part consists of a presentation after which there will be an opportunity for questions. The workshops are open to individuals, family members and others closely associated with the care and support of the child.

The course is open to professionals only if they are attending in the capacity as parent or carer.

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.


Our Serendipity Project Officer, Deborah Goatley-Birch, 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 autistic.

The Information, Advice & Guidance Department is funded through Southampton City Council and CCG, Hampshire CAMHS and a Hampshire County Council Adult Services Grant.

The service is based in Whitely but also offers drop-in sessions in Southampton and across Hampshire 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 it means for them, and how to make plans to make their life better
  • Autistic people, 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 autistic people, 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

The Spectra5 Autism Assistant App is provided in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary. The assistive app is a place to share information about yourself on a mobile device such as your smartphone or tablet so that people can understand a bit about you if you find yourself in a difficult situation or need some help and support.

Who can use it? Autistic adults who live in Hampshire (provided free of charge).

Why use it? The app is designed to help you when you need support from the police or emergency services. It can help you feel safer in situations that you find challenging and enable you to communicate more effectively. Spectra5can also be helpful in your daily life including work, education and leisure.

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 the person on board who is autistic.

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 autistic.

For more information about Autism Alert app, wallet card and car badge and how to apply, please contact the Information, Advice and Guidance team.

A wide variety of groups are run by other organisations to support autistic people, 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

Jobs and Carers for People with Autism (2021)

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

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

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

Moving with Autism - How to Plan your Transition to a New Home

Autism Social Story: Preparing to Move to a New House

The Best Strategies for calming Autistic Tantrums and Meltdowns

The 10 Best Tips for Long Car Rides with Kids - Tips for kids with Sensory Needs

Children's book - See What I Can Do. Celebrating children's differences in an engaging and visual way

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

For information on welfare rights, funding, and benefits here are some useful guides:

NHS guide on getting a needs assessment

NHS guide on the financial assessment/means test for social care

NHS guide to carer assessments

Age UK guides to care needs assessment and financial assessment


NHS Continuing Care Funding assessment

Commentary on the difficulties of care assessments

The Care Act: assessment and eligibility

How the Care Act 2014 will shape assessment and support planning – a legal opinion

For more information on finance and benefits, please see entries on the Local Autism Directory.


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

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