Information, Advice & Guidance

For adults, young people and children on the autism spectrum, 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. Please note that although we are still available by phone as there is no access to our offices at this time.

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

Email: information.advice@autismhampshire.org.uk

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

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 autim 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.

Please see current workshop information below:

Support workshops for families is Hampshire

Support Workshops for families in Southampton

Support Workshops for families on the Isle of Wight

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.

To book in an appointment please email information.advice@autismhampshire.org.uk or call 02380 766162.

Video

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 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 it 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

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? Adults who are on the autism spectrum 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 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.

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

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.

We provide a 'Try before you buy' scheme to allow individuals and families to borrow our resources for a short period of time to see whether it is the ocrrect resourse to suit their needs. Items such a weighted blankets, ear defenders and timers are avaiable to borrow for a small deposit. Please contact our Information, Advice and Guidance team to enquire.

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

Jobs and Carers for People with Autism (2021)

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

99 Questions About Autism - answers to question about autism

http://aspergers.ca/wp-content/uploads/media-library/article/pdfs/99_questions_about_autism.pdf

Ageing with Autism - free E-Book

https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/prof...

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

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/learning-disabilties/publications/easy-read-guide-anxiety

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

https://lifesupportproductions.co.uk/

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

http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2008/12/dear-family-and-friends-holiday-letter.html

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

https://community.scope.org.uk/

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

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/learning-disabilities/publications/staying-safe-out-and-about

Understanding Autism - useful information sheet

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/media/5180/ws1632-autism-help-sheets-spotting-the-signs.pdf

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

http://www.aettraininghubs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/AET_working_together_with_childs_school.pdf

Working with schools - supporting a child with sensory issues

https://www.sensorysmarts.com/working_with_schools.html

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

https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-calm-a-child-with-autism-4177696

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

https://www.wikilawn.com/blog/landscaping/create-safe-sensory-friendly-backyard-landscape-special-needs-child/

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

https://www.yourstoragefinder.com/moving-with-auti...

Autism Social Story: Preparing to Move to a New House

https://kidmunicate.com/autism-social-story-prepar...

The Best Strategies for calming Autistic Tantrums and Meltdowns

https://harkla.co/blogs/special-needs/autism-tantr...

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

https://www.coordikids.com/long-car-rides-with-kid...

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

https://graffeg.com/products/see-what-i-can-do

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

Here you will find curated information, tips and resources, together with tools and activities to help support autistic people during the Coronavirus pandemic:

The impact of COVID-19: Guide to screen addictions and responsible digital use

Covid 19 Mental health and Addiction Resources

Covid 19 and Looking After Yourself: A Guide for People on the Autistic spectrum

Employment:

A Complete Guide for Employees

Rhyming Multi-sensory Stories:

A Multi-sensory Poem to Help Individuals with SEN with their Hand-Washing Routine

A Multi-sensory Journey

A Multi-sensory Poem to Help Individuals with SEN with their Personal Hair Care

Face covering exemption card for Autistic People:

Face covering exemption templates

Facemask Exemption Card

General advice regarding the Pandemic:

Covid-19 Resources

Staying safe outside your home

Support during the coronavirus

FACE COVID: How to respond effectively to the Corona crisis

Supporting Adults during the Pandemic:

A discussion about guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus Advice for Autistic People

How to Help an Autistic Person During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mental Well-Being Tips for Adults

Supporting Children during the Pandemic:

Mental Well-being for Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mental Well-Being Tips for Children

SEND: Resources for Home Schooling during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Home Schooling Resources

Resources to support professionals, schools, parents and carers:

Resources to support professionals, schools, parents and carers

Commentary on Lockdown Experiences:

David Burns MBE - Reflections on Expectations during Times of Social Distancing

Lockdown Experiences

Face Masks - Barriers in communication for autistic people

Bereavement Resources:

Dealing with Bereavement

Bereavement Resources for Adults

Bereavement Resources for children

Bereavement Resources for families

Transition back to school and work after Lockdown:

Transition back to school after lockdown - resources

Transition back to work after lockdown - resources

Message from our CEO:

Message from our CEO - COVID-19

“

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