Information Now

Autism

In this page you can find more on:

Autism

Health problems

Local help and advice

Social and leisure activities

Staying Safe

Accessible Information Standard

Other useful information

Autism

Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.

Conditions associated with autism are:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Down’s sydrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal anti-convulsant syndrome
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Hyperlexia
  • Learning Disability
  • Visual impairment
  • About 70% of people with Autism have a non-verbal IQ below 70. Overall, up to 50% of people with “severe learning difficulties” have a diagnosis of autism.
  • You may also be interested in related research based at Newcastle University and in Autistica that focuses on adults with a late diagnosis of autism.

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Health problems

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Local help and advice

  • If you or a member of your family has  autism, there are several organisations in Newcastle that can provide advice and support:
  • The Community Health and Social Care Direct – Newcastle City Council helps people with learning disabilities, autism and their carers. They can:
  • give information and advice on social and health care services
  • put people with learning disabilities in touch with organisations who may be able to help them
  • arrange community care assessments
  • arrange a carer’s assessment
  • buy and arrange services that provide help and support
  • There are a number of specialist services run by Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust listed in the box on the right.
  • Connected Voice Advocacy operates a Community Advocacy Service, offering long term one to one advocacy support for vulnerable adults in the city.
  • Autism Friendly Newcastle
  • Citizens Advice Newcastle offer a support service which includes reviewing correspondence.  Attend one of their drop in sessions for advice.
  • Newcastle Welfare Rights Service provide information and advice on benefits that you may be entitled to.
  • Disability North provide information and advice on disability equipment and activities, benefits and Direct Payments as well as advising on many other aspects of disability and signposting to other sources of help.
  • The National Autistic Society ( NAS) – provide information, support and a range of useful services.
  • Contact  offer support and advice on their website only.
  • Newcastle Carers can offer support, advice and guidance to people who look after someone with learning disabilities. They also run a monthly autism support group.
  • Shared Lives  is a  Council run service aimed at adults who have autism and who need overnight support and supervision.
  • Castle Dene offers a short break although there is a cost for this service.
  • Welford Centre is a day centre for adults complex needs. Service users must be referred by a Health or Social Care professional following an assessment.

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Social and leisure activities

  • ReCoCo: Recovery College Collective have various courses available for individuals with autism including a creative arts group, cinema buddies group, and a games and chat group.
  • Day Services and Lunch groups – read our article on Information NOW about day centres and activities in Newcastle.
  • Alan Shearer Activity Centre offers a short break facility for children and adults with autism. As well as short break accommodation, the centre has sensory rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, specialised seating cinema, and organised activities.
  • City Library hold a Quieter hour from 10 to 11 am on Saturdays.
  • Skills for People work with and support disabled people and their families. They offer a range of activities including a Help and Connect service to help people to connect with their local area, fitness and life planning. They run a support group All Autistics Accepted.
  • Cornerstone work with people with autism in the west end of Newcastle. They offer a range of activities such as art, cooking and drama.
  • Rookie Sports can arrange tailored programmes for clients with learning, physical or sensory disabilities to help them experience improvements in physical health through the gentle exercise. They also aim to increase their social network and develop new skills.
  • Liberdade Community Development Trust run an arts venue and café from Gosforth Civic Theatre.  It is an inclusive space for performance, music, cinema, and community activity at the heart of Gosforth that aims to break down misconceptions of autism while also being a space where everyone can enjoy their café, get involved in a class or go to a show.

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Staying Safe

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Accessible Information Standard

  • If you have a sensory loss or disability you are entitled by law to accessible information about your health care and support from the NHS and publicly funded social care services. For example this could include large print or a professional BSL interpreter at medical appointments.
  • Services must:
  • Find out your information needs
  • Record them in a set way
  • Highlight them in your records so that staff meet your needs every time you use services
  • Share your information needs with other services e.g. if you give details to your GP then these can be shared with any hospital service you maybe referred to
  • Make sure you get support the way you need including when your needs vary. For example you may need to receive short letters in large print but need longer documents on audio.
  • Ask on a regular basis if your needs have changed
  • Remember – tell services this is your right to have your needs addressed and they have to do this by law (section 250 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012)

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Other Useful Articles on Information NOW

You may find these articles on Information NOW useful

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Other Useful Information

  • Mencap
  • Recite Me helps someone to access a website, including read aloud, ruler, audio.
  • BrowseAloud reads web pages aloud for people who find it difficult to read online.
  • My Hospital films show people with autism what to expect when coming to hospital for a radiology appointment to help reduce any fears they may have.
  • Newcastle Libraries have a number of ‘Pictures to Share‘ collections. These books combine pictures and text for adults in a meaningful way and can help stimulate conversation between families, professionals and dementia sufferers. These can also be used with stroke sufferers, as well as adults with autism, learning disabilities and those with mental health needs.
  • Protected Telephone Services and Priority Repairs are available to help support people with long term conditions and disabilities. This helps to make sure that your phone line is working, so you can use it to stay in contact with others and in emergencies.
  • Respond is telephone helpline available to anyone with autism or learning disability, or their friends and family, who have experienced or been affected by institutional abuse. The helpline offers emotional support, practical advice, signposting and information giving. Regular counselling sessions are also available.

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Last updated: December 19, 2019

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