We hope that if you have a child with autism you feel fully supported by school but also it is often helpful to go further afield for some support from other parents and organisations.
Buxton is lucky to have a support group called Beautiful Young Minds and details of meetings can be found on www.facebook.com/BeautifulYoungMinds. They meet once a month during the daytime at Buxton Infant School and once a month in the evening at 53 Degrees North. It’s free, informal and there’s no need to book ahead. Many parents of children with autism can feel socially isolated and the most important thing they can get from coming along to a meeting is confirmation that they are not alone. Parents talk to one another but if someone attends needing advice or support in relation to a specific issue, there are people there who can either draw upon their own experience or can signpost to another organisation that might be able to help. For those parents who can’t attend meetings, local, autism-related events and information can be found through the Facebook page.
For parents of children undergoing assessment for ASD or children who have been newly diagnosed, the websites of the National Autistic Society and Ambitious about Autism are good places to start.
National Autistic Society - www.autism.org.uk
0808 800 4104 - Autism Helpline (open 10am-4pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-3pm on Fridays).
Ambitious About Autism - www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk
The National Autistic Society now has a telephone service, run by parents of children with ASD to provide emotional support to others. The telephone number is 0808 800 4106, which you can call at any time, day or night, and leave a message for another parent to call you back at a time that suits you (including evenings and weekends).
If your child has been diagnosed with ASD there is a “Starting Off” workshop here in Buxton run by the Child Development Psychology Team at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.. It will be taking place on Monday 20th May between 9.30am and 4.30pm at Fairfield Children’s Centre and anyone interested in reserving a place should email CRHFT.CDPAdmin@nhs.net.
CAMHS have an information session here in Buxton; “Managing Sleep Problems” will be on Friday 5th April between 9.30am and midday at Fairfield Sure Start Centre. To reserve a place parents should email CRFHFT.email@example.com.
For those able to travel further afield, Space 4 Autism in Macclesfield runs a whole host of groups and activities for children with ASD and their families. www.space4autism.com
Although not autism-specific there are a couple of other charities in Buxton who run groups and host events for parents and carers of children with the full range of additional needs and disabilities. Aspire, who are based on Eagle Parade in Buxton, run a sibling support group for children and young people aged 5-17 who have a sibling with a disability. The email address of the co-ordinator is Julie@vcspd.org. Aspire can also provide 1:1 support for children and their families where their social care needs are assessed as exceeding a particular threshold. Derbyshire Parent Carer Voice occasionally host workshops in Buxton, the last of which was about managing challenging behaviour and received excellent feedback. The best way to find out about their events is through www.facebook.com/derbyshirepcv.
Many children with ASD benefit from the use of sensory facilities. Locally, Fairfield Children’s Centre has a small sensory room that parents can book, for free, to enjoy with their children. Their telephone number is 01298 74936. However, for those able to travel further afield, the Space Centre in Preston is amazing. They can have some problems with their website at the moment but ordinarily parents could find out more at www.thespacecentre.org.
Both IPSEA and DIASS provide excellent advice about the law relating to special educational provision.
Many parents of newly diagnosed children are advised to apply for Disability Living Allowance and there is some useful guidance on the website of Cerebra.