Our new volunteer Rachel Greene met parents of adults and children. She’ll help with handling enquiries to the branch in person and online and signposting as needed.
Parents said that they really needed advice for their own circumstances-such as how to claim for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the ‘ support’ category rather than in the ‘work’ one. This is suitable for those not currently ready for employment. If an adult with autism is in the ‘work’ category they are expected to sign on and are vulnerable to sanctions which can stop their benefits.
Advice was also needed for housing, other benefits and getting work.
Parents and carers needed help to cope with the stress and extra challenges of looking after someone with ASC at a time of cuts in services.
Parents also reported problems with post-16 college provision being unsuitable for their young people.
Many charities that give advice are struggling with less money coming in. This means that parents needing advice usually have to be prepared to wait longer to speak to an advisor. The NAS main helpline is very busy and we suggest parents use the e-mail enquiry service so that NAS advisors can call back when they are available. https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main/form.aspx
The Carers’ Centre (where we are meeting today) gives advice and support to parents of adults with autism (and other disabilities).
0300 300 2233
76 Hornfair Road, Charlton SE7 7BD