View Full Version : Advice for Families Coping with Autism

08-26-04, 07:11 AM
"The National Autistic Society (NAS) and Vodafone UK are set to work in tandem to launch a unique support programme for parents and carers affected by the disease in Frome, it emerged today.

The NAS Help! programme offers a 20-hour support programme for families with children recently diagnosed with autism.

Programmes, led by NAS staff based in Somerset, will offer an introduction to autistic spectrum disorders and problems arising from the illness including communication skills, social interaction and behaviour issues.

Help! is also on hand to guide parents and carers when it comes to finding the right school and ensuring they are aware of benefits and rights open to them.

Eileen Hopkins, director of development at the NAS and responsible for delivering the Help! programme nationwide, said: “Help! touches families at a crucial time in understanding how autism will affect their lives.

“After receiving a diagnosis, parents and carers can feel very alone and the NAS Help! programme exists to empower them with knowledge and understanding of this difficult lifelong condition.”

The Vodafone NAS partnership, which launched in April this year, has now funded seven NAS Help! programmes supporting 62 families across the UK.

A total of 21 Vodafone funded programmes will be up and running by April 2005 bringing new support for 210 families.

A large percentage of fundraising for the programmes has come from Vodafones Fonebak donations. The scheme lets customers recycle unwanted mobile phones and equipment through their local Vodafone store. For each phone given to the recycling scheme, Vodafone donates approximately £7 to the NAS.

Sharon Walker, cause marketing manager for Vodafone UK, said: “Our relationship with the NAS has already made an enormously positive impact on our company and its good to see the first fruits of our labours.

“However, this relationship is not a short-term one and we will continue to help the NAS improve their systems and services.”

NAS announced its partnership with Vodafone UK in April 2004. The mobile phone company plans to raise more than £6 million for the charity over the next three years.

Autism (including Asperger syndrome) is a lifelong developmental disability occurring in varying degrees of severity and affects more than 500,000 people in the UK.

It is characterised by impairments that involve difficulties forming social relationships, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and the development of strong narrow obsessional interests.

The National Autistic Society, a registered charity, exists to champion the rights and interests of all people with autism and to ensure that they and their families receive quality services appropriate to their needs.

For more information see the Society’s website at ( or contact the autism helpline on 0845 070 4004."

("borrowed" off