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                                                                   September 2010

                   Diary Of Forthcoming Events
SPACE                                   Monday September 20th

Chester Autism Support Group            Wednesday September 29th
Autistic Spectrum Carers Support
Group                                   See inside for details

Wirral autistic Society support group

SPACE                                   Monday October 18th
Chester Autism Support Group
                                        Tuesday October 19th
SPACE                                   Monday November 15th

Chester Autism Support Group
                                        Wednesday November 24th

Sad News

Many of you may already know that sadly Mary Nielsen died earlier
this year. Mary, together with her husband Peter was a founder
                member of our Branch. She will be missed by all who
                knew her and we would like to extend our sympathy to
                Peter and her family.

                      Fundraising and Donations
September 2010
Many thanks to the families who took part in our Train Walk, the families had a great day
out. Thanks to all who helped make the day a success including the Chester Autism Support
Group who helped prepare the flags, carried out the risk assessment and were available to
generally help, it really lightens the load on the committee.

Also thanks to the Nielsen family for donations in lieu of flowers at the funeral of Mary and to
the Bolam family who also chose our Branch to receive donations in lieu of flowers after
Martyn’s Grandmother died earlier this year.

United Charities' Fair.
Once again we shall be having a stall at the United Charities' Fair.

This will take place on Saturday 23rd October from 10.30 until 2 at the United Reformed
Church on Hoole Road in Chester.

Please come along and support not only us but other local charities. We shall have NAS
Christmas cards for sale.
September 2010
Our AGM was held on July 8th at Greenbank school. We would like to extend a special thanks
to Veronica and the staff for looking after us so well. Sadie and her dance class entertained
us and they clearly love every minute of their performance. Well done!! Sarah Best from NAS
Policy and Campaigns spoke about the Autism Bill and the subsequent developments
followed by Caroline Thomas, Interim Head of Services, Learning Disabilities and Mental
Health who told us about the consultation around the Autism strategy beginning in the
autumn. She encouraged us all to be part of this. Terry Groves was welcomed to our

Copies of the Treasurer’s report and the Branch report can be obtained by calling our
Information Line (01244 315651)

Chester Autism Support Group

The dates are set and the room has been booked for the following dates:
29th September, 19th October and 24th November. Topics and speakers had not been
completely finalized when the newsletter went to print. We will be able to give you more
information nearer the time. Apologies if this causes you any inconvenience.

We are always interested to see new people or if you haven't been for sometime, please do
come along and join us. We meet in the downstairs lounge of St Michaels Church (Coniston
Road, off Plas Newton Lane, Chester, CH2 1PX).

Tea and coffee are available from 7.15 and the meetings start at 7.30 and finish around 9.30.
If you would like to talk to someone about the group or have any questions, please contact the
branch on Tel: 01244 315651 or alternatively send an email to cheshirewest@nas.org.uk.

Hope to see you there

Rachel (on behalf of the Chester Autism Support Group)

Autistic Spectrum Carers Support Group
We are a Northwich based group formed by parents, for parents of children who are, or might
be on the Autistic Spectrum.

Our aim is to come together as parents to share what we know and by doing so support one
another. This group meeting once a month at The Carers Centre on London Road in
Northwich, 10.30am – 12.30pm.

For further details please email: ASCSG@live.co.uk

Wirral Autistic Society Support Group
September 2010
This group meets every second Friday at 12noonin the Royal Oak Public House in Little
Neston. Everyone is welcome to come to each meeting or just pop in occasionally for a coffee
and a chat.
For more details please contact Karen on 07950 003995 or Alice on 07775797110

September 20th - Tori from Timebabysitting and Aukids Magazine coming to speak

October 18th - no speaker just a general catch up

November 15th - David Hodgson coming to speak to us about "living with Autism" more
details to follow as this meeting will not be at our usual venue due to ages invited.

Space meets up the 3rd Monday of each month at The Boarhound public House, Macclesfield
7.30-9.30pm for more details contact info.space@hotmail.com or Tel: 01625 877761 Cheryl

NAS Cheshire West and Chester awareness raising event being
held on MONDAY 4th October 2010 in Ellesmere port.
Although primarily aimed at parents of Key Stages 2 pupils and those working with this age group,
everyone is welcome to attend, especially those just outside this age group.

The main speaker will be Chris Barson.
Chris founded Positive About Autism in 2009. Prior to that Chris was External Training Manager for the National
Autistic Society. Chris has a long involvement with disability and autism. After studying drama at the Welsh
College of Music and Drama in Cardiff he started out as a drama tutor with Arts for Disabled People in Wales.
Chris trained as a learning disabilities Nurse at University Hospital Wales. After qualifying Chris became a
Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities. Moving from Community Nursing into a specialist setting,
Chris gained experience in intensive support for people who present a severe challenge to services. Chris first
joined the National Autistic Society (NAS) in 1996 as a Project Officer in Wales on a Children in Need project
reviewing short term care provision. After working with the NAS Regional Development Team promoting service
development throughout the UK Chris went to work at the Royal College of General Practitioners, in 2000, where
he managed Professional Development and Quality programmes. Chris rejoined NAS in 2004. Chris is currently
completing Post Graduate study in Learning and Teaching for Higher Education. Chris has contributed to the
design and delivery of courses provided by Canterbury Christ Church University, and University of Cumbria.

In the afternoon there will be the opportunity to attend other talks, which will be given by Cheshire
Autism Support and Development Team, Dr Lenny Thornton and Gill Benson as well as a Speech and
Language therapist working with Key Stage 2 pupils in schools. Attendees will be able to attend 2 out
of the 3 afternoon talks. There will be sign up sheets on the day. The day should end by 3.30pm

Further details from 01244 315651

   rights/lawculties

September 2010
Disabled Children’s Database

Every local authority is required to offer a register/database for parents and carers of children
with a disability to register their details confidentially in order to receive information and to
help the local authority's and other organisations when planning new services.

In Cheshire (East and West) Cheshire Carers Centre, a registered charity who offers free
information, advice and support to unpaid carers across Cheshire and part of the Princess
Royal Trust Network for Carers (see www.carers/org) provides this service : Cheshire
Disabled Childrens Database.

If you have a child with a disability, regardless of diagnosis/SEN - the only criteria is that the
child or young person has a disability, this could be a physical disability, a learning disability,
behaviour issues, autistic spectrum, hearing impairment....you can register your details with
the project in total confidence, your details will never be shared (we only share statistical
information to help shape future services) Once registered you will receive our regular
newsletter, invitations to any free event we organise such as fun days, musical therapy
sessions, parent carer leisure days, short family breaks (all subject to funding) Families often
report to us that they enjoy meeting up and sharing experiences with other families at these
events. If you have access to email you can also register for our free e-news updates - an easy
way for us to update you on issues and events relating to children with disabilities.

We can also provide you with advice on welfare benefit entitlements, local leisure services,
support groups and refer you to any assistance you may be entitled to via Cheshire Carers
Centre such as relaxation vouchers and Carers Fund.

To find out more or request a registration form please contact:-
Disabled Childrens DatabaseTel: 01270 215440 or freephone 0800 085 0307 (Mon-Fri 10-4pm
Freephone Carers Helpline)

Email dcd@cheshirecarerscentre.org.uk
Write: Cheshire Carers Resource Centre, Unit 14, Brierley Business Centre, Mirion St,
Crewe CW1 2AZ

Independent Travel Training
AHDC is sponsoring places for this training course which will assist young people in learning
how to use, or get the best out of, public transport for leisure purposes or to travel from
school/ college independently. Each young person will be assigned a Travel Trainer who will
sit with the family and draw up an individual plan which will be then be put into action.
There is no cost for the course!
Please contact me for further information or a registration form.
Chris Grears – chrisgrears@aol.com or 0151 291 7257.

Toy Library
I am the chair and volunteer helper at the Chester Community Toy Library and I am seeking
help form parents and carers. I am looking to update the current special needs toys that we
stock. The current stock of toys are well used and are in need of a make over. I would value
any suggestions from parents and carers about the toys they would like to borrow. Toys that
are not big to be kept at home all the time, toys that can only be used for a short time, toys
September 2010
that are too expensive. None of this is an issue but choosing what parents and children want
and need is. Please contact me if you can help in nay way jbolam@live.co.uk

The Toy Library is open to all children under five and special needs children of nay age. We
open every Thursday and Saturday from 10 -11.30. On Thursday we hold our Stay and Play
session which is open to everyone and includes art, craft, song time, tea, toast and much more.
For more details visit or website www.chestertoylibrary.org.uk

Julie Bolam

New Personal Assistant (PA) Training Service at
Cheshire Centre for Independent Living

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living (CCIL) launched a new PA Training Service in
March 2010.
The PA Training Service enables people who manage their own care through Personal
Budgets/Direct Payments (and who are employers) to access free, independent, tailor-made
training for their staff.
The PA Training Service is designed to give employers flexibility, choice and control over
what training their PAs receive, who provides that training and where that training takes
Employers are able to choose training courses for their PAs from a PA Training Catalogue
developed by CCIL. Employers are also able to choose where the training takes place – either
in their home (workplace) or at a choice of accessible external training venues across
CCIL have appointed a new PA Training Co-ordinator to centrally co-ordinate the PA
Training service and liaise with, guide and support employers in accessing training for their
If you would like to find out more about the service then please contact Jonathan Taylor, PA
Training Co-ordinator at Cheshire Centre for Independent Living on 01606 872760.

Dr Wendy Lawson

Dr Wendy Lawson gave the 200 parents and                               professionals present
at Macclesfield High School a great insight                            into the world of
someone who has lived
with Autism for all her life in
her amusing presentation on Wednesday 9th                              June.

As part of her UK Tour she presented to the                           packed     auditorium
much of her life’s research into the subtle differences between the experiences of many
children and adults with ASC. Dr Lawson, who has previously been invited to Downing Street
and later this month advises a Committee including MP’s and leading experts from around
the world, explained in great detail the differences in language as understood by those with

September 2010
Many parents and professionals are aware that Autistic children and adults tend to be single
focused and have huge difficulty in multi tasking, even down to being unable to ignore the
buzzing of the strip lights in a classroom, as opposed to the majority of non autistics who are
able to simply ignore noises or influences that are not relevant.

Dr Lawson recommended that we build learning alongside the Autistic persons obsession,
rather than trying to stop the pursuit of that which holds their attention.

As she stated without the huge depth of focus on single issues it is unlikely many of the
breakthroughs in science and other areas that have advanced civilisation over the centuries
would of taken place. Obviously it cannot be claimed that all geniuses would of registered on
the Autistic Spectrum but it is highly likely many will have been.

It was a most detailed and enlightening evening and many of those who attended will have
gained much from the evening, and more importantly be able to pass on the knowledge to
colleagues or family members.

This was the 4th large presentation that SPACE had organised for parents & professionals
from all over the North West. The Support Group based in Macclesfield intend to continue
bringing the very best speakers to the area, in addition to there monthly meeting in the town
which take place on the 3rd Monday of every moth at the Boarhound Public House on the Silk
Road. For more information contact info.space@hotmail.com

SPACE would like to take this opportunity of thanking Macclesfield High School yet again for
their superb facilities and in making these events possible. For more information on Dr
Lawson see her home page http://www.mugsy.org/wendy/index.htm

Rick Simpson-SPACE member and Parent.

Wills and Trusts

The Wills and Trust Voucher scheme is now over subscribed. Even though the budget was
increased by 50% in 2010, there has been unprecedented demand this year. You are still
welcome to apply. All eligible applications will be put on a waiting list. If more funds become
available, those on the waiting list will be notified first.

After a successful pilot scheme in 2007, Cerebra have continued the Wills and Trust Voucher
Scheme into 2010. The voucher is worth up to £350 towards the cost of a solicitor or
professional will writing service preparing a will and discretionary trust to make provision for
your child's future.

Your child must have a brain-related condition, be aged 16 or under and be receiving the
Middle or High Rate of the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

To apply you can request or download an application form. You must include with your

September 2010
1. A copy of your child's DLA award.

2. A copy of a letter from a professional that confirms your child's condition.

If you are interested in an application or more information, please email alex@cerebra.org.uk
or telephone 0800 328 1159.

   Managing Money - A guide on managing money for people on the autism
This workbook is for people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who want to learn more
 about how to manage their money. Research tells us that lots of people with an ASD would
   like to learn more about this and we're grateful to the Financial Services Authority for
    funding this workbook. If you prefer to learn online, there is an online version of this
               workbook. The website address is: www.managingmoney.org.uk
                            http://www.managingmoney.org.uk/ .

This workbook has 25 sections to help you learn about all the different ways of managing your

              The book can be ordered free via the NAS website www.nas.org.uk

The Family Fund
The Family Fund, the largest charitable grant-maker for families with disabled children, has
changed the way it looks at income to help more families on the lowest of incomes.

From 1 April 2010, the Family Fund will consider a grant application where a family’s total
income from all sources, including net income and benefits, is below £25,000 in England and
£27,000 in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Previously a limit was imposed on working families but not on families in receipt of benefits.

If you live in England, you can apply if you can say Yes to all of the following:

      You live in England
      You are the parent or carer of a severely disabled child aged 17 or under who lives at
       home. (The Fund has it's own definition of severely disabled please click here to read
       our definition).
      Money coming into your household is less than £25,000. This is the money you receive
       from benefits and tax credits. If you are working we also count your net income (this is
       the money you take home after you have paid tax and national insurance). We do not
       count Disability Living Allowance or Child benefit.
September 2010
      You have permanent legal residency in the UK and have lived in the UK for six months

We are not able to help children and young people in local authority care, including those
living with relatives or foster carers or where a statutory agency has a responsibility to pay
for the items needed.

What can we help with?

We will consider any grant request that will make a difference to the lives of a disabled child,
young person and their family. Families can apply for things from attraction tickets to zoo
trips, but we also encourage requests from young people that have particular meaning to their
age group such as driving lessons, laptops and equipment for college.

This year the Family Fund wants to help more young people than ever before!

We now give grants for young people aged 17 and under in England, Northern Ireland,
Scotland and Wales.

Whilst families can apply for the things such as holidays, washing machines, holidays,and
hospital visiting costs, we also encourage requests from young people that have a particular
meaning to their age group, such as driving lessons, laptops and equipment for college.

Contact us

Family Fund
4 Alpha Court
Monks Cross Drive
YO32 9WN

Tel 0845 130 4542 or 01904 621115         Email info@familyfund.org.uk

Revamped Social And Leisure Service In Cheshire West & Chester
For People With Aspergers Syndrome
Crossroads Care Cheshire West and Wirral, a registered social care charity based in
Bromborough, Wirral, is pleased to announce the re-launch of their support groups for Adults
and Children/Young People with Aspergers Syndrome within Cheshire West & Chester.

Following extensive consultation with families, the groups launch on the 7 th of July, and aim
to offer the opportunity for people, both adults and children, with a diagnosis of Aspergers
Syndrome to come together and enjoy social and leisure opportunities. The groups will meet
on a weekly and fortnightly basis. The group activities will be decided by members and will be
focused around things members are interested in. The aim of the groups is to assist people in
getting the most out of their social lives. Crossroads Care Cheshire West & Wirral staff will
be on hand to help where required. All staff are trained in the needs of people with a
diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome and have had an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check
carried out.

There is a small charge of £2 per session towards refreshments.

Name of Club     Age Range        Venue             Dates           Times
September 2010
Chester             8-13years           Saughall Youth     Every               6-8pm
Children’s Club                         Club, Chester      Wednesday,
Chester             13-18 years         Saughall Youth     Every Thursday      6-8pm
Children’s Club                         Cub, Chester
Chester Adults      18 years upwards    Chester Quaker     Alternate           7-9pm
Club                                    House, Frodsham    Thursdays
                                        Street, Chester
Ellesmere Port      18 years upwards    Whitby Sports      Alternate           7-9pm
Adults                                  Club, Ellesmere    Tuesdays (
Vale Royal Adults   18 years upwards    Cheshire Carers    Alternate           6-8pm
Group                                   Centre,            Thursdays

In order to join a group or find out more please telephone Sarah Ealey, Clubs Support Officer on 0151
3431960 for further information.

If you have any articles you wish to include in the next branch newsletter please forward them to Esther
Fletcher, 40 Oaklands, Guilden Sutton, Chester CH3 7HE

                            CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER BRANCH
                                       INFORMATION LINE 01244 315651


September 2010

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