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Autism Bedfordshire is an independent charity providing information, advice, emotional and practical support to individuals with Autistic Spectrum Conditions, their parents/carers, families and associated professionals throughout Bedfordshire.

Autism Bedfordshire was founded in 1991 by parents of children with autism, to share information and support each other. Over the years, we have expanded and developed our services, building a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise in the process. We have earned a widespread reputation for being an excellent provider of quality support for people with autism and their families.

Autism Bedfordshire aims to reduce social isolation and improve the quality of life for people with autism and their families in Bedfordshire, and improve awareness, knowledge and understanding about autism amongst families, professionals and the wider community.

We want people with autism to have the same opportunities as people who are not on the autistic spectrum and for them and their families to enjoy fulfilled and rewarding lives. Statistically for every 100 people, one person will have autism – in Bedfordshire this equates to over 6,100 people with the condition.

Autism Bedfordshire is the only voluntary organisation in the county that is specialised in supporting children, young people and adults with autism.

Today the charity employs 17 office staff and around 130 staff and volunteers providing services to over 600 members.

Autism Facts

* National figures indicate that autism affects around 1 person in every 100. The 2011 Census figures for Bedfordshire indicated that there were 615,100 people in the county. Based on these figures, it means that there are 6,151 people in Bedfordshire with autism.

* It is more common in males than females.

* The exact cause of autism is unknown and probably several factors contribute although research strongly suggests a genetic cause and the condition does tend to run in families.

* It can be a hidden disability because many people with autism are no different in appearance than anyone else.

* People with autism can be very sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, light or touch.

* It is a lifelong condition but the quality of life can be greatly improved with the right care and support. They can develop skills, explore interests, improve physical health and improve social interaction and, in many cases, can find employment.

Make a difference - Help us today...

* £5 could buy some colouring crayons for our children’s activity groups

* £10 could fund an hour’s phone call to provide vital support and advice to someone newly diagnosed or their family

* £20 could pay for 2 young people with autism to be taken to the cinema

*£30 could pay for a specialist worker to support a child with autism for 3 hours £40 could buy training materials for one of our skills courses for adults

* £50 could pay for the hire of a bouncy castle at one of our social activity sessions

* £100 could fund the transport for an outing for 10 people with autism

For more info, visit the Autism Bedfordshire website