Saturday, 4 November 2017

Future Meetings

Please find below information about our meetings and talks, along with a couple of other things that might be of interest.
Please note, that the December Meeting planned for 12th December has changed date and location!

Thursday 23rd November - Stanton Vale School
10am to 11.30am
An informal support group, where you can come along and chat with other parents. 

Thursday 23rd November - St Clares School
7pm to 9pm
The Local Offer
Laura Corden from the Family Information Service is coming along to talk about how this is working for people. Also, will be the opportunity to talk with other members.

Friday 20th October - Ravensdale Junior School
9.30am to 10.30am
Special interests - the pros and cons of having obsessions!
A talk by Conor Ward, an autistic adult (a repeat of the great talk Conor gave at The Farmhouse).

Thursday 14th December - Ascot Drive Fire Station
7pm to 9pm - in their Community Room
Surviving Christmas
Come along and chat to other members to share ideas about getting through Christmas.
Tea, Coffee and Mince Pies will be on offer!

We are currently busy sorting our schedule for January 2018 onwards, so will send this on as soon as it is sorted!

Other links:
Sibs are running a workshop for Adult Siblings on "Decision making and the law".
They have on in Derby on 23rd November.
PLEASE NOTE: this is for Adult Siblings Only (not parents or professionals)

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Improving Access to Travel - respond by 15th November 2017

Improving access to travel: Tell the Department for Transport what changes you would like to see. 
The Department for Transport (DfT) is holding a national consultation on improving access to travel for disabled people.
We know this is an important issue for many of you.
The DfT has produced a draft action plan together with an easy read version. Proposals include:
  • Better regulation and guidance on accessible information on public transport
  • A review of Blue Badge eligibility for people with non-physical disabilities
  • Standard eligibility for concessionary travel passes across the country
  • A national assistance card for people with hidden disabilities
  • Training and education of transport providers and staff
  • Research on access to ‘spontaneous’ (not pre-planned) travel, and what assistance is needed, e.g., in managing unplanned changes
The DfT is keen to hear about people’s experiences, both positive and negative, of using transport services.
Key questions about the plan include
  • What are the main challenges autistic children and adults face in getting on public transport?
  • What could Government, local councils, bus or train companies do to help address these challenges?
  • What in your experience are the levels of understanding of transport providers and staff of the needs of autistic people? Would better training for staff help? Please give examples.
  • Would better provision of clear information help?  Please give examples from your experience.
  • What do you think about the introduction of a national assistance card (like an autism alert card) that all public transport staff would be able to recognise? 
  • How well do you feel concessionary bus passes work in supporting the local transport needs of autistic people, and how might this be improved?
  • What would improve your/your family's experience of air travel? 
  • What do you think about how the Blue Badge scheme currently works? Can you explain why someone who is autistic might benefit from a Blue Badge and provide ideas you might have on how to change the eligibility criteria?
  • What is your experience of trying to travel spontaneously (without pre-planning, such as arranging transport assistance)? What steps could Government, transport providers and operators take to promote this and reduce restrictions?
You can respond to any of the questions that may be relevant to you.  Please send direct to:
The deadline for submissions is 15 November.
Please also copy in Ari Haque, the NAS Policy and Campaigns Support Officer:
The more responses the DfT receives, the better they will be able to understand and plan for the needs of autistic people and their families.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Library (please return outstanding books)

Our ever popular Library is usually available at our branch meetings.

If you have an outstanding book please ensure its prompt and safe return. If you have any problems with returning the books (which are branch property), please contact us to make arrangements.

Important Note:
We do ask for each individual book to be signed out with the borrower’s full contact details, and that a donation be made for each book borrowed. All donations for books are used to purchase further titles.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Autism Friendly Film Showings

Autism Friendly screenings are being provided by 2 Derby cinemas and 1 in Nottingham.

The Odeon Cinema, Meteor Centre, Mansfield Road, Derby,DE21 4SY. Check times on their website.

The QUAD Centre in Derby's Market Place (DE1 3AS) has supportive environment screenings. This is an adaptable environment screening with house lights slightly raised, sound lowered, doors open and including no adverts/trailers. For full details of screenings, details of how to book and other information, call The QUAD on 01332 290606 on on-line

Cineworld in Nottingham will have Autism friendly showings on the first Sunday of the month at 11:00am.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Wendy Lawson

On 18th May 2010 we were extremely pleased to have the internationally acclaimed expert on autism Wendy Lawson as our guest speaker. Wendy only tours the UK every couple of years to speak to different groups we were delighted to welcome Wendy to Derby.

For futher information on Wendy, please visit her website at

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Surviving Christmas

The October meeting focussed on "surviving Christmas" where the group suggested various ideas, based upon their own experiences, that may help your Christmas go smoothly. These are summarised below.
  • Allow child to open gifts when they want to (doesn’t even have to be on Christmas Day!) 
  • Do not expect for them to be pleased with unwanted gifts.
  • Make sure in advance that toys are ready straight away i.e. remove any tags, instert batteries etc..
  • Siblings needs should be remembered.
  • Keep everyday routines.
  • Stick with any previously established Christmas routines.
  • Play games to help involve them with relatives (they’ve done the social bit then!)
  • Involve them with decorations so no surprises
  • Social story around Santa
  • Avoid queues for Santa by explaining child’s Autism
  • Ring ahead to book slot
  • Get there for when it opens
  • Ring Santa if you have his number!
  • Continue with PECS, social stories, use of calendar- more important than ever
  • Restrict number of family/friends
  • Be aware of sensory needs such as the smell of candles, food, feel of paper, noise of crackers etc..
  • Possibly keep decorations in one room (or outside)
  • Food- do not expect them to change diet
  • Relatives need reminding that Autism is 24 hours, 365 days a year and will not disappear for Christmas
  • Try not to rearrange furniture to accommodate tree, beds, sleeping arrangements, where you keep things
  • Schools to be aware of pupil’s needs and work with parents over expectations. What mainstream pupils enjoy doesn’t always include the one or two Autistic pupils- reasonable adjustments to be made (e.g. not off timetable for too long)
  • Shopping could cause sensory overload as they're obviously busier and noisier than usual. 
  • Do not expect them to be excited- they may not want to get up early and may want to do normal activities
  • Make Christmas for them: no expectations on them, use your “Autism eyes”
  • Do not put extra pressures on them on Christmas Day, for example do not choose Christmas Day to nag about changing clothes
  • Finally, go easy on yourself, keep dinner as hassle-free as you can, don’t expect perfection, and maybe wait until they’re in bed before you exchange your gifts!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Autism Act 2009

Today the NAS has made legal history! The Autism Bill has made it through its last parliamentary stage, and will now become the Autism Act 2009: the first-ever disability-specific law for England.

The Act will guarantee a future Adult Autism Strategy that will introduce a range of legal duties to improve local services. We will of course continue to campaign until the strategy makes a real difference to people affected by autism.

You, our members and campaigners, and the wider coalition of autism organisations across the UK, have all been vital to achieving this landmark victory. Thank you!

For further details please visit