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.
Coping with the uncertainty of coronavirus
For some autistic people, the world can feel overwhelming and this can cause them considerable anxiety. Added to this is the uncertainty many autistic people are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic. This period of change can be very difficult for many autistic people and their families causing anxiety to increase.
National Autistic Society have created some handy tips for autistic adults and their families to help during this difficult time. They have also published the latest guidance on coronavirus and useful information to support autistic people and their families.
Autistica have produced a guide for autistic adults on coping with the uncertainty of coronavirus, and offer tips for managing anxiety. An Easy Read version of the guide is available to download.
The government has provided guidance on travelling safely during the coronavirus pandemic. From 15 June, it is a legal requirement to wear a face covering when travelling on public transport. The guidance includes good reasons where you don’t need to wear a face covering.
The list is not exhaustive but it includes:
“if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress”.
If you do need to take public transport, National Autistic Society have some useful downloadable resources you can use during your outings. The downloadable resources include:
- An information sheet
- I am Autistic Card
- My Child is Autistic Card
- This Person is Autistic Card
Support for carers of autistic peopleCaring for someone can be both rewarding, but challenging too. During the coronavirus pandemic it is understandably a more worrying time.
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)
New autism assessments
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism service at Camden and Islington NHS Trust is not offering any new assessments or face-to-face reviews.
However if you if you are a ADHD patient and require urgent medication advice please contact Camden & Islington ADHD Team on the details below and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
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.
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.