A branch of the National Autistic Society

South Wiltshire Branch


Branch Website Banner_1007x202px_RGB_FINAL ARTWORK_140613 untill (2)

    NAS South Wiltshire Branch

A branch of the National Autistic Society

NAS_branches_logos_England_v1 copy_South Wiltshire

Previous meetings


Speaker: Laura Tween From Able Hands - January 9th 2017 -


Social Meet - February 6th 2017

This months meeting we had no speakers, instead a social meeting, chatting with other parents, carers and people on the spectrum themselves.

There was as always a warm welcome and coffee, tea and biscuits courtesy of Tesco.


Christmas party - December 5th 2016

A good time was had by all!  We enjoyed gathering together over mince pies and other delicious nibbles, washed down by our chairman's homemade non-alcoholic punch.  Merry Christmas to all!


"Too Much Information" and Christmas preparation - November 7th 2016

It was a pleasure to have our own member, Carly Considine, giving us the TMI talk.  We understand this to be the first time this talk has been given in Salisbury.  It is part of the NAS campaign to explain the effects that autism can have and was very well received by a well attended branch meeting.  

Carly also led us in a lively discussion when many people contributed ideas to help our children, partners and other family members cope with the busyness of Christmas.


Informal meeting - October 3rd 2016

It was great seeing a few new faces and sharing ideas in a low key coffee and chat meeting where conversation flowed gently along.


Wiltshire Independent Support and Advice (WISA) - September 5th 2016

It was very helpful to hear from speakers form WISA about the services they offer.  They welcome people seeking their free support - click here for their leaflet or here to find their website.


Informal meeting - August 1st 2016

We enjoyed meeting for a coffee/tea - part of relaxing during the summer!  


Annual General Meeting - July 4th 2016

It was very encouraging to have so many attend the AGM; also it was a pleasure to welcome Sarah Morgan, our branch development officer, who had come all the way from Wales, and to hear her comments.  Adrian, our branch chairman, summarised the encouraging year we have had, with Facebook being well used and attendence at our branch meetings regularly being 20+.  Jenny, our Treasurer, showed how our funds have increased over the year.  A lively discussion ensued, as tends to be the way at our branch meetings.  We were particularly pleased that four people felt moved to join the committee, so we look forward to the next twelve months with fresh ideas.


Social Stories - June 6th 2016

It was a pleasure and most enlightening to hear from Jo Leeming about how social stories can be used and also written, even by us!  Currently teaching at Dauntseys School, she has taught children of both primary and secondary age in a variety of international, state and independent schools in Britain and abroad so brought a wealth of confidence-giving experience with her.  As always, questions and further chat followed.


Elizabeth House, Exeter Street, Salisbury - May 9th 2016

It was lovely to hear from Patricia and Freda, both of Elizabeth House, about the provision there for young people with various needs; also about their relatively new groups for youth with autism.  We were struck by the inclusive and understanding nature of the youth groups and Patricia's and Freda's enthusiasm to support young people in developing social skills.  As usual, a lively discussion ensued.  Freda has since sent us the ASD groups' programme for summer 2016 which you can access here.


Informal meeting - April 4th 2016

We enjoyed one of our more casual, unstructured evenings, chatting amongst ourselves and getting to know each other a little better.


Support in Wiltshire: Autism Parent Programme (SWAPP) - March 7th 2016

It was a pleasure to welcome Sue Maginess of Wiltshire Council to our meeting.  She explained about the SWAPP courses run by the local authority.  These courses are led by professionals with experience of autism and are open to parents/carers of autistic children and a supporter (such as a teaching assistant) from the child's school.  The courses vary in their format depending on the age of the child but it was clear both from what Sue (who leads "Early Bird" SWAPP courses) told us, and from the experience of those of us who had attended one, that the courses are very informative, helpful and enjoyable.

Following her talk, Sue very kindly listened to our comments and led a lively discussion.


Raising awareness of Autism Awareness Weeks - February 1st 2016

We welcomed Henry Barnes of the NAS again.  He gave us some insight into the activities of the NAS and how we, in our local branches, can help with raising awareness of autism in our own locality.  With World Autism Awareness Week happening from 2nd to 8th April and Schools' Autism Awareness Week from 14th to 18th March, there is plenty that we could get involved in!  Please follow the links here to find out more.


Quiet get-together - January 4th 2016

After the bustle of Christmas we enjoyed a quiet get-together - sharing Christmas and New Year stories over coffee/tea and biscuits.


Christmas party - December 7th 2015

We enjoyed a festive get-together with seasonal goodies and good cheer - many thanks to our hosts, Adrian and Alex Boyd.


Preparing for Christmas - November 2nd 2015

Rae Stephens, one of our branch secretaries, spoke from her own experience about Christmas and how to get through it, recognising that this is sometimes a stressful time of year and that preparation can be helpful.  She led our lively discussion and our exchange of tips and strategies on how we can make Christmas easier to deal with in an ASD household. She also drew our attention to tips from the National Autistic Society taken from the NAS website and suggested the use of a planning sheet such as this one here.


Care Act 2014 - October 5th 2015

We were very pleased that Henry Barnes (Area Policy and Participation Officer – South West,The National Autistic Society) joined us to speak about the recent Care Act.

During his talk, Henry clarified for us that, according to the Care Act, wellbeing consists of:

•         Personal dignity

•         Physical, mental health and emotional wellbeing

•         Protection from abuse and neglect

•         Control by an individual over their day-to-day life (including over the support they receive and the way in   which it is provided)

•         Participation in work, education, training and recreation

•         Social and economic wellbeing

•         Domestic, family and personal wellbeing

•         Suitability of living accommodation

•         The individual’s contribution to society

He also gave us a useful Care Act Handout  which you can find here.


Informal meeting - September 7th 2015

“Coffee, chat, get to know each other …”

We welcomed old and new members, also visitors, to our first meeting in our new venue.