August newsletter

The National Autistic Society Guernsey Branch

August newsletter

The summer holidays are now well and truly upon us, and we are aware that it can be one of the more challenging times of year for families with children with autism.

We have now had two weeks of summer Branch activities with another four to go - check out the events calendar below for details of what is coming up. Don't miss out on booking the last few tickets for remaining events, including a tour of Castle Cornet with Annette Henry tomorrow Monday 3rd August!

Many of you will be out and about more than usual over the holidays. To help, Ambitious about Autism have written a helpful article on dealing with 'outsiders' which provides lots of tips for dealing with people outside of your usual circle of family and friends.

There is also a useful section about Going on Holiday which contains some advice about making a holiday less stressful for you and your child as well as links to other good resources which could be on interest.

Branch News

Just before the end of term we welcomed Gina Davies to Guernsey. During her visit she held a 2 day training workshop for 30 early years practitioners. We are still gathering feedback which will help us plan future input and support from Gina, but we are discussing trialling her Attention Autism programme in a couple of local settings. If you attended Gina's daytime training we would be very grateful if you could complete this short online survey.

Gina also held an evening workshop aimed at parents and families to help support behaviour. We had a good audience of around 40 people and again we have received some very positive feedback. We are planning to arrange some follow up sessions using Gina's materials during the autumn which will complement our Autism Seminars for Families, If you are interested then keep an eye on our mailings and Facebook page for dates and details.

NAS News

An unprecedented piece of research into the language used by autism communities to describe autism has been released.

The research by The National Autistic Society (NAS), the Royal College of GPs and the UCL Institute of Education looked at the preferences of people on the autism spectrum, their families, friends and professionals.

The findings confirmed that there is no single term that everyone prefers. However, they suggest a shift towards more positive and assertive language, particularly among autistic communities where autism is seen as integral to the person.

Survey responses from 3,470 people were analysed, including 502 autistic adults, 2,207 parents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, 1,109 professionals, and 380 extended family members and friends.

The research found that all groups like the terms 'on the autism spectrum' and 'Asperger syndrome'. Autistic adults like the identity-first terms 'autistic' and 'Aspie', whereas families didn't like 'Aspie'. Professionals also like the term 'autism spectrum disorder (ASD)'.

Some terms were strongly disliked or no longer used, particularly 'low functioning', 'Kanner's autism' and 'classic autism'.

The language we use is important because it embodies and can therefore help change attitudes towards autism. To reflect the findings of this research, the NAS will gradually increase the use of the term 'autistic' – particularly when talking about and to adults in that group. We will also use 'on the autism spectrum' as the default way of describing people on the autism spectrum.

The research shows that language preferences are evolving, and we will continue to research and test how different groups prefer to speak about autism.

  • Read the abstract or full research paper 'Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community' in Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice.
  • Listen to a podcast of NAS Director of the Centre for Autism Carol Povey and Researcher Lorcan Kenny explaining the research.
  • Want to share your thoughts? Find us on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #describeautism.
  • Join our mailing lists to stay informed about our work, future research, events and other activity.

Branch Events Diary

Sensory Sundays at Styx

Sunday 2nd August, 16th August, 30th August

Western Community Centre, (Styx) St Peters


Please pop along and browse, try out and borrow items from our sensory toy library. We will also have our book library available. During every sessions we will have a sensory play activity on offer, which could include sand or water trays, slime, bubbles or painting. The playground at the centre will also be open as usual.

All families with children with autism and/or sensory processing needs are welcome - just turn up!

Summer Activities
Our full summer events calendar is available here. Some activities are now fully booked, but here is a list of what is still available:

Monday 3rd August - Castle Cornet Tour with Annette Henry 3.30pm. £8 per person (Age approx 12+)

Friday 7th August - Art Workshop Space theme (Age approx 5-11) £3 per child.

Thurs 13th August - Tea on the Beach - Grandes Rocques from 4pm. No need to book.

Friday 21st August - Kayaking (rescheduled) We had to postpone and reschedule the kayaking evening due to poor weather. Those who were originally booked are being given first refusal of tickets for the new date, but we do anticipate there being some spaces. Please email if you are interested, stating how many adults and how many children will be trying the kayaking. (Additional people are welcome to come to the beach and BBQ without booking)

To book any event please email or visit our Eventbrite page

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For more details of all Branch activities and events please visit our local website:

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