What is autism?
Autism affects how people relate to, communicate with and interact with others and the world around them, and it is a lifelong developmental disability. All autistic people share certain difficulties but being autistic will affect them in different ways, hence autism being a spectrum condition that requires different levels of support for each person. National Autistic Society provides further information about what autism is.
Language and terminology
Over the years there have been many different terms and phrases used to describe autism. In this information page we have chosen to use the term “autistic adults” as that is currently how many autistic people chose to describe themselves.
The information about autistic adults is under the category of “Disability” on this website as it is understood in the Social Model of Disability. The model states that people have impairments and long-term conditions. However, the oppression, exclusion and discrimination people with impairments face is not an inevitable consequence of having an impairment. It is caused instead by the way society is organised. People with impairments are ‘disabled’ by the barriers in society which exclude and discriminate.
We acknowledge that people have different preferences of what they like used when describing themselves and their autism. It is always best to ask the individual themselves what their preference is.
Some helpful information about autism and terminology can be found here.
Support for carers of autistic peopleCaring for someone can be both rewarding, but challenging too.
In Camden, it is important to know that there is support for carers and the Support and advice for carers section on Camden Care Choices provides information about what is available.
Camden Adult Social Care can provide support to adults with autism. Contact the Adult Social Care Access and Response Team for a discussion about what support is needed.
Telephone: 020 7974 4000 (select Option 1)
Adult Autism Assessments in Camden are done by the ASD service, which is part of the Neuro-developmental Disorders (NDD) clinic. This service is provided by Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust.
You can only be referred to the ASD service by your GP or a mental health professional (e.g. iCope therapist). Self-referrals are not accepted.
To contact the ASD service for queries or referrals, please email adult.ASD@candi.nhs.uk or telephone 020 3317 7356, and someone will get back to you asap.
At present, face-to-face assessments are back up and running.
More information about the service can be found here: Neuro Developmental Disorders (NDD) | Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (candi.nhs.uk)
Autism and a learning disabilityIf you have learning disabilities and autism, you may be eligible for a service from Camden Learning Disability Service (CLDS).
Camden’s Local Offer provides information about support for young people and children (aged 0 to 25 years) with autism and special educational needs (SEND) and their families.
Website: SEND Local Offer
Camden Disability Action is a user-led organisation run by disabled people for disabled people. Amongst other aims, they provide an advice and advocacy service to help deaf and disabled people access services and resources necessary to participate in Camden life.
Information and advice line: 07543 572 793 10am to 4pm
Asperger London Area Group (ALAG) is a community organisation providing autism advice, information, support and monthly peer support groups to those living in London. They have a monthly peer support meeting that takes place in Islington but is currently taking place online during the pandemic.
The Autism Hub is linked to Asperger London Area Group (ALAG). The hub aims to improve the quality of life for autistic adults by connecting people to resources, services and organisations. The hub also provides advice, information and support to families and carers.
Camden People First is a self-advocacy project run and led by people with learning difficulties.
Autism Voice works with autistic adults and children and their families in communities in the UK and Africa. They provide outreach, emotional support, and mentoring and other services.
Resources for Autism provide practical services for children and adults with an autism diagnosis, and their carers and you can self-refer using their referral form.
Telephone: 020 8458 3259
Emergency helpline: 07891 476 293 Mon to Fri 5pm to 9.30pm, and Sat to Sun 9am to 9pm
Camden's autism plan 2016 - 2021Camden's autism plan focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of autism spectrum conditions in Camden, improving education, health and social outcomes and removing barriers that prevent autistic people from being included in their community. Download the autism plan to read more about it.