Our Branch News
Views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of The National Autistic Society and reference to specific services or approaches to autism does not
imply endorsement, nor does the absence of any services or approaches imply that NAS Richmond does not support them.
Images in this website credited to Allan Sears (who has autism), Alison Sears, and the Microsoft Office and Bing Clip Art image libraries.
All material © The National Autistic Society (Richmond Branch) 2017 and cannot be reproduced without permission.
Website Terms and conditions of use. By using an NAS branch website you agree to be bound by the following Terms and Conditions, which take effect immediately on your first use of any NAS website. View the NAS Terms and Conditions of use for NAS websites: www.autism.org.uk/branchtermsofuse
This page keeps you up to date with the activities, news and events organised by or connected to NAS Richmond, as well as an opportunity to let you know about our forthcoming coffee mornings. Please use the links in the box above to visit the rest of our web pages and find out about other activities and events, details of other groups in this area, plus news and information.
These are held in association with Me Too and Co.
They take place at the St. Stephen’s Crossway Centre. 306, Richmond Road, East Twickenham. TW1 2PD, and run from 10.30am until 12.00 noon. Please see the map to find the Crossway Centre’s location.
The nearest parking facilities are at Marble Hill Park’s Pay & Display car park. Directions to this venue can be found on Me Too and Co’s website: www.metooandco.org.uk
There is a creche facility available - places need to be booked with Me Too and Co. Email them at email@example.com or phone 07946 646033.
Our next coffee mornings:
Please click HERE to go to our Activities, News and Events page, where you can find out more about the subject to be discussed at our next coffee morning (details to be announced nearer the time).
CAN YOU HELP?
Are you someone who has direct experience of autism? Would you like to help make a difference to those affected by an autism spectrum condition?
Then why not consider helping NAS Richmond with what we do? We welcome all enquiries and would especially like to hear from people with young children who have an autism spectrum condition. Do contact us at Richmond@nas.org.uk if you feel you are able to help out.
THE AUTISM STRATEGY - WHAT WE’RE DOING
People with an autism spectrum disorder have often been overlooked in the past, especially if their needs are not immediately obvious. This has meant that they have had great difficulty getting appropriate help from education, health and social care professionals, leading to huge problems accessing support, treatment and services they need to live independently (some may even be unable to get a diagnosis of their condition).
The Autism Act 2009 was introduced to address these issues, which resulted in the publication of the first ever Autism Strategy ‘Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives’ in 2010, followed by the updated 'Think Autism' Strategy in 2014 (all local authorities in England are legally obliged to implement this Strategy).
From October 2016, Richmond and Wandsworth boroughs have formed a shared staffing arrangement (please note that this does not mean that services will be merged). As part of this arrangement, both borough's Autism Strategy steering groups (Autism Programme Board) are merging; NAS Richmond Branch being one of the partners working with the local authorities to help bring about the changes needed to properly support people with an autism spectrum condition (ASC).
Please visit Richmond Council’s Autism webpage to find more information about the services, support and resources available. This NAS Autism Strategy webpage provides an overview of both the Autism Act and the Autism Strategy.
NEWSFLASH: SOUTH WEST LONDON PROPOSED CHANGES TO ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
As you are no doubt aware, there has been quite a bit in the local news concerning proposed changes to the eligibility criteria for children being referred to South West London St. George's Mental Health Trust (SWLSG) for assessments of autism and ADHD. Basically, the proposition is that a diagnostic assessment service would only be offered to those children who already have significant mental health issues, so those seeking a diagnosis without these issues would not be eligible. Should this proposal go ahead, children living in the boroughs of Kingston, Richmond, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth would be affected.
NAS Richmond, SEND Family Voices, Express CIC and ADHD Richmond are all working together to challenge such changes, and NAS Chief Executive Mark Lever has also written to the South West London Collaborative Commissioning Group plus the individual Clinical Commissioning Group in each borough.
The following statement has been issued by Kingston's lead Children's Commissioner about these proposed changes:
"No decision has been made by the Trust or by the clinical commissioning groups. Any changes would require detailed engagement with stakeholders and Kingston CCG will talk to local people before reaching any final conclusions on how best to go forward.We recognise the concerns of families of children with a neurodevelopmental condition and the groups who support them and that these must be addressed in any proposal brought forward for consideration.
The Trust and South West London CCG commissioners are committed to working together to ensure young people access the most appropriate service for their needs. We need to get the model of service and service capacity right for the range of needs across SW London".
NAS Head Office has drafted a Template Letter to send to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), plus a list of the CCG's addresses if you would like to voice your concerns as well. SWLSG would be instructed to carry out this proposal (if it goes ahead), but are not the ones who have proposed this. Head Office asks that you aim your letter at those who have proposed this - the Clinical Commissioning Groups.
This letter is just a template, so please do amend and personalise it. Letters that describe your own situation are so much more powerful, so just use bits of it, add your own words as and where you wish, or use it as inspiration to write your own letter.