Who we are
Specialist Autism Services has worked exclusively for and with adults (18+) on the autism spectrum and their families since 1999. We are a non-profit organisation that works with the charity Sacar to provide autism specific services across the Yorkshire region. We now provide a range of services including group social skills workshops (through an autism-specific learning programme), information and guidance, autism-specific counselling, employment support, autism awareness training and community outreach support. Under the name Autism First we also provide bespoke support for adults with autism and additional needs.
We’ve learnt a lot from the people we have supported over the last two decades and continue to adapt our services and working practices to best meet the needs of adults with autism. We aim to make a positive difference to the lives of our service users (members) and through person-centred support we create opportunities for people to work towards their personal goals, build confidence, develop social skills, increase independence and ultimately fulfil their potential.
• We are always learning together with the people that we support and through this we continually develop and improve the services we provide. We are creative and unique in the way that we work and our organisation continues to evolve through consultation with our members.
• We feel that everybody benefits from more awareness of autism and therefore everything we do is with the aim to improve knowledge of the condition across society
• We know that no two people are the same – things that work for some, might not work for others. The support we provide is “person-centred” and is tailored to meet the needs of each individual.
• We feel it is essential to include our members in all decisions that might affect them, in a way that they are comfortable with. Our organisation is therefore “member-led” and responds to the needs of the client group.
• An organisation is nothing without the staff team that deliver the support. We train our staff to the best standard so that they are equipped to provide the highest quality autism-specific support.
• Our services are carefully planned and structured to best meet the individual needs of adults with autism. In our experience it is when people feel most comfortable that they are able to build their confidence and develop their skills. Our autism-specific working practices enable us to build trusting relationships, manage the things that make people feel anxious and open up opportunities that were not previously thought possible.
• We know that everybody is different and therefore we promote diversity and inclusion across our organisation. We respect and celebrate the talents and achievements of our colleagues and the people that we support.
• We believe that adults with autism deserve access to the correct level of support at the right time. We are passionate about empowering our members to develop their skills, enabling them to progress onto new opportunities such as independent living or employment.
Specialist Autism Services’ mission is to support adults with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome by the provision of health, education, training, sports, creative art and counselling activities, which promote their social inclusion, training opportunities and ultimately employability.
Our key aims are to:
• Empower and enable adults with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome to lead a more
independent lifestyle and integrate into the community
• Increase self-confidence, social and interpersonal skills
• Increase opportunities for training and work placement leading to employment.
• Promote educational attainment of this client group
• Increase awareness of Autistic Spectrum Conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome
• Strengthen our provision in order to ensure that we are an effective community organisation
• Liaise with other voluntary and statutory organisations
• Encourage meaningful engagement and social inclusion, leading to a reduction in criminal or antisocial activity.