Monday, December 20, 2010

December 2010 - Thank you!

This month's newsletter isn't about us - it's about you.
Over the past year, your support has made such a difference to the lives of thousands of people affected by autism. Whether they were one of the tens of thousands of callers to our helplines, one of the children and adults with autism we've helped, or one of the families and carers we've supported, your commitment has, in so many cases, transformed lives.
Today we can all mark another incredible achievement - the publication of the Government's statutory guidance for England's adult autism strategy, after three years of campaigning by our supporters. There is much more work still to be done to make sure this guidance turns into real action on the ground, but together, we've reached an important milestone in changing the way society treats people with autism.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful supporters, and, once again, I'd like to send you my personal thanks on behalf of all those with autism and their families. If you ever doubt that you make a real difference to people's lives, just read, below, the stories of some of the people you've helped this year - in their own words.
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and new year.

Jane Asher
President, The National Autistic Society

Julie and Richard

Julie's son Richard was diagnosed with autism before he started school. She contacted our Advocacy for Education Service (recently renamed the Education Rights Service) for help after her son's school refused to carry out an assessment of his needs. Read Julie and Richard's story.

Kieran Pentland

Kieran was unemployed and suffering from anxiety and depression when he contacted our Prospects employment service in Glasgow. Now his life has turned around and he helps other adults with autism to find their way into paid work. Read Kieran's story.

Adenike and Abidemi

Adenike contacted our Croydon Family Support Service after her son Abidemi was diagnosed with autism, aged three. We provided her with direct support and advice and now she attends one of our monthly parent groups to meet and share experiences with other parents in similar situations. Read Adenike's story. 

Jacqui Waite

Jacqui Waite is the self-directed support project lead at Bury Council and works closely with our award-winning Bury Brokerage Service. In partnership with the council, our broker helps adults with autism to manage their own self-directed support budget. Read Jacqui's story.

Ben Kenyon

Thirteen-year-old Ben took part in Channel 4's documentary series Young, autistic and Stagestruck. We supported the programme-makers to make sure that the series raised awareness of autism appropriately and sensitively and that the filming process did not cause distress to participants. Read Ben's story.

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The National Autistic Society, registered office: 393 City Road, London, EC1V 1NG, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 2299, Fax: +44 (0)20 7833 9666, Email:
VAT registration number: 653370050; a charity registered in England and Wales (269425) and in Scotland (SC039427)
Copyright The National Autistic Society 2010

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