The Berkshire Autistic Society provides a range of services and support for parents and carers of children and adults with autism. It was set up in 1990 by a group of parents of children with autism, autism related problems, Asperger Syndrome and challenging behaviours.
The main aims of BAS are to provide information, advice and support and to work with Berkshire’s six local authorities, the NHS and other organizations to improve education, respite care, leisure activities and all services across the county.
BAS is a registered charity funded by donations, grants and its own fundraising efforts.
Autism is a lifelong condition which can leave a person unable to communicate appropriately (both verbally and non-verbally), to think flexibly and to develop social relationships. It is a spectrum disorder which means it can range from mild to severe difficulty and affect people with average or above average intelligence to those with learning disabilities. For those at the more able end of the spectrum the condition is referred to as Asperger Syndrome.
"Reality to an autistic person is a confusing, interacting mass of events, people, places, sounds and sights. There seems to be no clear boundaries, order or meaning to anything". (A person with autism)
Over 8,000 people in Berkshire are affected. Inadequate support can mean a lifetime of isolation, anxiety and despair for them and their families.
The Chair, Malcolm Kempton, or the Executive Director, Hayley Edwards, are available for interview.