Support Groups

Autism Berkshire runs local Support Groups for parents and carers of children and young people with autism in Reading, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor.

Scroll down the page for details of your local groups.

Parent and Carers Support Groups

Meetings are free of charge, friendly and informal, with tea, coffee and biscuits provided, and give those attending the chance to talk, share experiences and learn new strategies in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.

Visiting speakers will talk about topics relevant to parents and carers of children and young people on the autism spectrum and answer questions. Subjects covered include managing behaviour, visual support strategies, anxiety, social stories and benefits advice.

The West Berkshire Sunshine and Showers Groups, which meet on a bi-monthly basis, are run by West Berkshire Council.

Reading Support Group

The group’s meetings are held on a monthly basis during school terms on a Friday between 9.30am and 11.30am at Autism Berkshire’s office at Unit 7, Richfield Place, Richfield Avenue, Reading, RG1 8EQ. Tracy White is the coordinator of this group.

Forthcoming meetings are on May 12, June 9, July 14, September 15, October 13, November 10 and December 8.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Bracknell Support Group

The group’s meetings are held on a monthly basis during school terms on a Monday between 9.30am and 11.30am at Forest Park Community Centre, Horndean Road, Forest Park, Bracknell, RG12 0XQ. Gemma Coventry is the coordinator of this group.

Forthcoming meetings are on March 20, April 24, May 22, June 19 and July 17.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Maidenhead Support Group

The group’s meetings are held on a monthly basis during school terms on the last Tuesday of each month, between 10am and noon at Larchfield Children’s Centre, Bargeman Road, Maidenhead, SL6 2SG. Gemma Coventry is the coordinator of this group.

Forthcoming meetings are on March 28, April 25 and June 27.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Slough Support Groups

We offer both daytime and evening support group meetings in Slough.

The daytime group’s meetings are held on a monthly basis during school terms on the last Thursday of each month, between 10am and noon, at the Community Room in Tesco Extra, Wellington Street, Slough, SL1 1XW. Suzanne Comberousse is the coordinator of this group.

The next meeting is on March 30.

The evening group’s meetings are held on a monthly basis during school terms on the last Monday of each month, between 7pm and 9pm, at the Aspire Centre, 350 Edinburgh Avenue, Slough Trading Estate, SL1 4TU.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Windsor Support Group

The group’s meetings are held on a monthly basis during school terms on the first Tuesday of each month, between 10am and noon at Windsor Youth and Community Centre, Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD. Gemma Coventry is the coordinator of this group.

Forthcoming meetings are on May 2, June 6 and July 4.

For more information about the group, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

Women’s Support Group

We run a monthly women’s support group at our office in Reading.

It will provide a forum for women diagnosed as autistic, or who self-identify as autistic, to discuss how autism affects them. Mothers of children diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions can also find support to explore the possibility that they may also be autistic.

The group will be led by Clare Johnson-Alem, who has just joined us a programme manager. The sessions are funded by Reading Borough Council.

Forthcoming meetings are on Fridays March 17, April 28, May 19, June 30, July 28, August 18, September 29, October 27, November 24 and December 15, from 10am to noon.

For more information or to register to attend the first meeting, email us at contact@autismberkshire.org.uk or call the office on 01189 594 594.

Grandparents’ Support Group

The group is open to all grandparents living in Berkshire who are the primary carers for grandchildren with autism spectrum conditions,

Meetings take place on a monthly basis.

The March meeting will be on Wednesday, March 22, at the Toby Carvery Caversham Bridge, in Richfield Avenue, Reading, RG1 8EQ, from noon. Lunch is included.

For more information about the group or to register for meetings, please call Sarah at the Autism Berkshire office on 01189 594 594 or email ssnow@autismberkshire.org.uk.

Craft Group – Reading

This group gives parents and carers an opportunity to socialise, get creative, learn new skills and help Autism Berkshire to raise funds.

Cushions, decorations, lavender bags, candles and other items created by the club’s members are sold at events we attend across Berkshire.

The group meets on Tuesdays during school terms, from 12.45pm to 2.45pm, at the Autism Berkshire office at 7 Richfield Place, Richfield Avenue, Reading, RG1 8EQ.

For more information about the club, call 01189 594 594 or email contact@autismberkshire.org.uk

West Berkshire Sunshine and Showers Groups

These are run by West Berkshire Council for parents and carers of children on the autism spectrum.

Meetings in Calcot take place at the East Family Wellbeing Hub (formerly Calcot Children’s Centre), in Curtis Road, on Wednesday mornings between 9.30am and 11.30am. Forthcoming sessions are on April 26 and June 28.

Meetings in Thatcham take place at the West Berkshire Central Family Wellbeing Hub (formerly North Thatcham Children’s Centre) in Park Lane, on Thursday mornings between 9.30am and 11.30am. Forthcoming sessions are on April 6, May 18 and July 6.

Meetings cost £1 per family, including refreshments. Children are welcome.

Melissa Hutchings, the council’s Autism Advisor for Families, will be available to answer autism-related questions.

Guest speakers attend some meetings to talk about topics relevant to parents and carers of children on the autism spectrum.

Amanda Walker, Autism Berkshire’s Home Visit Worker for the area, will attend on a regular basis.

For more information about the groups, email melissa.hutchings@westberks.gov.uk or call Melissa Hutchings on 01635 503651.

west berkshire