Saturday, 8 June 2019

Derby City Council cuts to Specialist Teaching Service

Derby City Council are planning a £220,000 cut in its Specialist Teaching Service, which will almost exclusively affect its support for autistic children. At a time where autistic children are finding support difficult to come by, this is a massive blow to their education and their families, who are left to pick up the pieces. This cut represents a 25% loss in capacity, and must be stopped.
Why is this important?

We know that autistic children are four times more likely to be excluded than children without special needs. We know that school can be overwhelming and teaching staff often rely on training so that autistic pupils can flourish in their classrooms.

The proposed loss of Autism Advisors and Portage Workers means that teachers and parents alike will not receive training and support in how best to meet the needs of autistic children. With very few jobs making an enormous impact on the lives of many, cuts to Derby’s Specialist Teaching Service must not happen.

The Government recognises more needs to be done to support autistic children, in the classroom and out, and is including children and young people in their national autism strategy, released in November. Instead of listening with open ears to what needs to change, Derby City Council are instead cutting jobs.

Show Derby City Council that they must not make these cuts, and they must act to ensure they create an education system that works for autistic children and families.
Please sign the petition at

7th September Picnic

The Derby NAS branch are considering organising a picnic in Markeaton Park in the summer, for families with autistic children - parents of older children can come either with or without children!!! Proposed date is Saturday 7th September.

The idea would be to do a walk around the park and then have a picnic. We would possibly be able to hire the meeting room in the courtyard in case of rain.

At the moment we're just trying to get an idea of how many people might be interested, to see if it is viable.

If it's something that you like the idea of please let us know via email. Please feel free to send this email on to any families you know who might be interested.

Future Branch Meetings at The Farmhouse

Tuesday 11th June - The Farmhouse, Mackworth - 7pm to 9pm

Topic night – Coping with change

Themed talk/discussion & a chance to share experiences about how autistic children and adults cope with change. 

Tuesday 2nd July- The Farmhouse, Mackworth - 7pm to 9pm

Topic night – Siblings

Themed discussion & a chance to share experiences about siblings of autistic children and adults.
Please note: that for the time-being, we are just able to offer the evening support group meetings. These will still be a mixture of informal meetings, topic nights and occasional external speakers.

Future meetings at The Farmhouse:
Tuesday 17th Sept - Topic TBC
Tuesday 8th October - Connor Ward Talk - Intense Interests
Tuesday 12th November - Topic night - Anxiety

Sunday, 10 February 2019

10th Anniversary of the Autism Act

This year is the 10th anniversary of the Autism Act. The Autism Act was a landmark in the battle to improve the lives of autistic adults and their families in England. It created an autism strategy and statutory guidance. This put a legal duty on government, councils and health services to provide specific support for autistic adults.

The Government is reviewing the autism strategy this year and this is an opportunity to campaign for change. The NAS are undertaking a survey to help with telling the government what needs to change.

Monday, 14 January 2019

NAS Women and Girls Module

This is an online module about autism in women and girls - and it is still free to access until the end of March. It takes a couple of hours to do, and includes lots of information and video clips.

IPSEA EHC Plan Masterclass for Parents and Carers

IPSEA are running a one-day training in Derby for parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to help guide you through the EHC plan process.

29th March, Roe Farm Community Centre, Chaddesden, Derby.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Focus Groups for Supporting Autistic People

Focus groups on what staff need to know to support autistic people
(this is a national consultation - not just Derbyshire)

Skills for Care, Skills for Health, the National Autistic Society and Opening Minds Consultancy are working together to develop a ‘core capabilities framework’ about autism. This framework will say what staff need to know and do, so that they have the right skills and knowledge to support autistic people properly. To help them do this they want to talk to autistic people, families, and staff who support them, and are running five focus groups in January 2019. If you want to get involved - please visit the website -
The sessions will be on;
■21 January in Sheffield
■23 January in London
■28 January in Sale near Manchester
■29 January in Birmingham
■The morning session (10.00-12.30) is for paid staff who support autistic people. These could be people who work in social care, health or any other public services who need to make their service more useful to autistic people.
■The afternoon session (13.15-15.45) is for people with lived experience of autism. This means autistic people and family and friends of people with autism.
Some people might have lived experience and work in a role that supports autistic people – you can choose to attend one or both of the sessions.