Autism and Asperger Syndrome

What is Autism and Asperger Syndrome?

Autistic Spectrum Conditions are lifelong developmental conditions that affect how people communicate and interact with others find out more about Autism spectrum disorder (link opens in new window).

Autism is not a learning disability although people with Autism may have learning disabilities.

You can find out more about Autism, the signs, how it is diagnosed and a lot more information on the Mencap website (link opens in new window).

The Easy Health (link opens in new window) website have gathered together various easy-read leaflets (link opens in new window) which can help people with autism to better understand their condition.

Support services available

Local support includes:

  • Autism Bedfordshire (link opens in new window) is a local organisation who offer information and advice helpline, advocacy and specific projects to help people with autism develop their social skills and employment skills
  • POhWER (link opens in new window) provides ‘advocacy’ services in Central Bedfordshire – helping people with autism to get their point of view across and to be understood
  • Carers in Bedfordshire (link opens in new window) runs some specific meetings and activities to support carers Carer’s in Bedfordshire can also help you apply for a grant to help you take a break from your caring role and training in topics including: confident caring, stress management, first aid, IT and painting

We also have a dedicated Autism Specialist Care Manager. To speak to this officer please call our customer services on 0300 300 8100.

Other organisations who can help are:

Looking after someone with autism

If you look after a relative or friend with autism, visit Carers in Bedfordshire (link opens in new window) for more general information about the help, advice and support that may be available to you as a carer.

Bedfordshire Think Autism Partnership Board

The Bedfordshire Think Autism Partnership Board is a meeting held every 3 months to discuss the local autism agenda.  The membership of the group is made up of local providers and local services, local residents with autism and carers of people with autism, 3 local Councils and Health. The partnership board covers the whole of Bedfordshire and is organised by us, in partnership with Bedford Borough Council and Luton Borough Council.

The purpose of the Bedfordshire Think Autism Partnership Board is to:

  • review and consider current guidance and policy at national and local level relating to autism
  • map local needs, resources and identify gaps to inform the commissioning of future services
  • improve multi agency working
  • facilitate implementation of local autism strategies
  • stimulate and encourage the development of a long term strategy to improve local support services for adults with autism

Meeting dates and minutes of previous meeting are on the Bedfordshire Think Autism Partnership Board (link opens in new window) website, which is hosted by Autism Bedfordshire.