Thursday, December 2, 2010

NAS monthly newsletter - November 2010


Every month I enjoy talking to you via our newsletter and this issue I wanted to let you know a little about membership of the NAS. If, like me, you are already one of our over 20,000 members, then thank you - and forgive my using this space to tell others a little bit about the scheme and just how many advantages it can bring.

Whether you are a person with autism, a parent or a professional, being an NAS member helps you feel supported and gives you the chance to share your views with others affected by autism. One way our members do this is through our quarterly Communication magazine, which is full of news, advice and personal stories. Read a heart-warming article from our latest issue about a father's experience of having a child with autism.

All of our members are passionate about changing the world for people living with autism. So, as well as receiving a range of great benefits, our members play an incredibly important role in raising awareness of autism and making sure we have a voice. The more members we have, the more influential we can be.

Below, one of our lifetime members, Andrew, talks about why membership is so important to him and his family.

To find out more about becoming an NAS member, visit

With my best wishes as always,

Jane Asher
President, The National Autistic Society

The difference membership makes - Andrew's story

"Being an NAS member is about knowing that you're not on your own," says Andrew, whose son has autism. Andrew and his wife Donna received lifetime membership of the NAS through our Investing in Brighter Futures partnership. "We see things differently now," he says. "Our son has a love for life which rubs off on us." Read Andrew's story here.

What do benefits changes mean for me?

One of the great things about being part of a vibrant autism community is that we have a voice. Many of you have said you're worried about the Government's changes to disability benefits. We're working hard to make sure these changes don't disproportionately affect people with autism. Find out more about what is proposed and what we're doing here.

Give the gift of companionship this Christmas

Isolation can be a huge problem for children with autism. In too many cases it can lead to serious mental health problems like depression. Our befriending scheme helps by breaking the cycle of isolation. Watch our interview with Michelle, who has three children with autism, to find out what befriending means to her and the difference your support could make, at

Fancy designing your own Christmas card?

We're looking for children and adults with autism to design two new NAS Christmas cards. Last year's winners, Bobbin' Robin and The Candy Cane, have been really popular and now it's your chance to have your design made into a best-selling card. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, or to buy Christmas cards, visit

Take part in an exhilarating fundraising challenge

Andy Theobald knows about the day-to-day realities of autism. His 15-year-old son, Harry, is on the spectrum. That's why Andy's decided to dedicate 2010 to raising money for the NAS. In fact, he's taken part in so many of our fundraising events that he's named his own personal challenge 'Newcastle to Nice via Portsmouth'! Find out more about Andy's challenge here.


Stay in touch with The National Autistic Society: follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page.

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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