Autism understanding exhibition makes debut at CAMHS conference

Our new exhibition, Autism in Berkshire: Past and Present, tracing the development of autism understanding in the county, made its debut yesterday in Maidenhead.

A selection of panels from the exhibition formed the backdrop to our information stand at the Berkshire East Clinical Commissioning Groups Federation’s CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) Transformation Conference.

Autism Berkshire’s chief executive officer, Jane Stanford-Beale, is pictured at the stand with Conor Eldred-Earl, who is an advocate for young people. His experiences as a teenager with autism are featured in the exhibition.

Among the speakers at the event in Maidenhead Town Hall was the clinical psychologist and broadcaster Professor Tanya Byron.

Windsor GP Dr Katie Simpson, who is the CCG Federation’s Mental Health Commissioner, highlighted the work being done by a number of voluntary sector bodies, including Autism Berkshire, as part of the CAMHS Transformation Plan, which has seen us expand our support services for families living with autism in the county through a contract with the CCGs.

Autism Berkshire's Garrick Rahal and Jane Stanford-Beale with our stand at the CAMHS onference in Maidenhead

Autism Berkshire’s Garrick Rahal and Jane Stanford-Beale with our stand and the exhibition at the CAMHS conference in Maidenhead

The full 12-panel exhibition will be on show at Autism Berkshire’s 2016 Annual General Meeting, which will take place on Friday, December 2, at St Laurence Church, in Friar Street, Reading, from 10am to noon. The church is next to the Town Hall and a short walk from town centre bus stops and the railway station.

Autism in Berkshire: Past & Present is a project developed last year to help mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Berkshire Autistic Society.

Research and interviews for the project were carried out by former Autism Berkshire trustee Rachel Cotton. It was edited by Autism Berkshire’s communications & media officer William Crossley and the exhibition panels were designed by Sian Martin of mdm creative in Maidenhead.

As well as the exhibition, which will be on show at venues around Berkshire in the future, the panels will be available to view on our website shortly, along with links to videos of interviews with a number of the people whose stories appear in the exhibition.

Any organisations interested in hosting the exhibition should call the Autism Berkshire office on 01189 594 594 or email

Autism in Berkshire: Past & Present is funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.