November newsletter

The National Autistic Society Guernsey Branch

November newsletter

Welcome to another newsletter, signalling the beginning of yet another new month. We had a busy October with our NAS seminars for families, numerous meetings regarding issues including the Autism Framework and inclusion in education, a radio interview (details below), an afternoon of wall climbing, 2 Sensory Sundays and a Halloween party!  We have also been busy planning all the upcoming events and ordering in new books as well as doing a website update.

Radio Interview
Catherine Hall was recently invited onto Radio Guernsey by Jenny Kendall-Tobias. They discussed a wide range of topics covering autism services, diagnosis, the Autism Framework, Disability & Inclusion Strategy, and inclusion in education. We are very grateful to Jenny for the opportunity to raise awareness of these important issues locally.

To listen to the programme (from 02:05:30) click here:

Plea for Help!
As you are all aware, our Branch is run purely by volunteers who give their time as and when they can. In the New Year we would love to organise some fundraising and awareness raising events in addition to the usual family social activities that we run, but in order to do this we are looking for some additional help!

If you think you could give some of your time then please do get in touch. All ideas for events are welcome, and if you have any experience or just a bucket full of enthusiasm for organising a ball, quiz, horse race night, family fun day, or car boot sale then we would love to hear from you! Could you volunteer to organise or help to organise just one event next year? Could you be an on-going extra pair of hands as and when you have time? Please email

If you have any festive ideas then be sure to look at the new NAS Christmas Stars fundraisng pack which is full of practical fundraising ideas and tips. You can download posters, tickets, invitations and order stickers and other fundraising merchandise. Songs, quizzes and Christmas readings will also be available on the site too.


Just a reminder that while you shop online you can raise money for FREE for the branch by using Easy Fundraising - last year we received a great cheque just after Christmas when you had been buying presents online!
There are over 2,700 retailers who use the scheme including big names like Amazon, Next, eBay, John Lewis and Argos.

Christmas Cards
 The NAS Christmas Cards are now available to purchase online. There are 11 new designs to choose from this year as well as bumper packs. You can shop online by clicking here

Remember that the NAS also have lots of products and merchandise available to help raise awareness of autism including t-shirts, bags, badges, Christmas baubles and more. Many of these items have been designed or handmade by people with autism.


Click on the items below or go to the online shop to view the full range now.


Branch Events Diary

Sensory Sundays at Styx (fortnightly)

Next Dates: Sunday 8th November, Sunday 22nd November, Sunday 6th December

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!

Bowen Therapy - Sunday 8th November
Sarah Brown is a Bowen Facial Release Therapist and will be attending the Sensory Sunday offering information and free taster sessions. As the mum of a child with autism, Sarah is comfortable and keen to work with children with special needs.
The Bowen Technique is a series of soft tissue moves designed to enable the body to reset and balance.  Bowen is gentle, relaxing and non-manipulative. Using thumbs and fingers, the practitioner applies gentle, rolling type moves over specific muscles, tendons and ligaments which promote the healthy function of the body systems. The Bowen Technique addresses the whole person, allowing the body to rebalance itself and commence the healing process. Clients report the experience of pain relief, improvement of function and recovery of energy.

Sunday 15th November

We have booked two indoor archery sessions with Dave Le Page at Rue Mainguy on Sunday 15th November.
There are just 6 spaces per 1 hour session and parents/carers are asked to stay on site at all times.
There are still some spaces for either 2-3pm or 3-4pm.
Charge: £8 per person
Please email to book.

Robyn Steward
16th and Tuesday 17th November
La Villette Hotel

It is now just a couple of weeks until Robyn Steward visits the island for a 2 day trip.

Robyn is a young woman with autism. She has built up an international career, friendships and a life. Her disabilities have influenced her lifestyle. Robyn has a condition called prosapagnosia which means she does not recognise faces, but recognises people by their shoes! Because of Robyn’s physical disabilities, she needs to wear boots, and her visual impairment makes bright colors easier to see, hence bright shiny blue boots. Also, since she dosn’t recognise her own face in photos and can’t always see her shoes, she wears her purple sparkly hat. Robyn’s difficulty with co-ordination makes a paint brush hard to use so instead, she paints with her fingers. Robyn tries to change every negative into a postive and encourages others to do the same.

At the NAS professional awards 2015 Robyn was awarded the award for ”Outstanding achievement by a individual on the autism spectrum”  along with Dr Julia Malkin MBE.

Robyn will be holding a number of seminars and workshops during her visit. The itinerary is as follows, and there are still tickets available for all sessions:

Monday 16th November
9.30am-12.30pm Introduction to the Autism Spectrum (aimed at parents/families but professionals are also welcome to attend)

This session introduces the Autism Spectrum; what it means to be Autistic, how it can affect people in different ways, and how you can support your children with lots of examples of strategies that may be used.

4.00pm-5.00pm My life with Aspergers (aimed at young people on the autism spectrum/siblings)
This is a talk aimed at sharing my experiences with others on the spectrum. I don’t have all the answers to every individual problem, but what I hope I can do, is give people some positive energy and hope that they can be happy.

7.30pm - 9.30pm My Life with Aspergers
This presentation is aimed at anyone who wishes to find out a bit about autism or develop their understanding. This is a humorous, engaging  look at my life on the Autistic Spectrum and work with others on the Spectrum.

Tuesday 17th November
9.30am - 11.30am Using Art to Explore Sensory Perception. (aimed at parents/carers and professionals)

This is a fun session, using practical art activities to explore HYPER- and HYPO-sensitivity. We then use these experiences to look at daily life activities and how they can be adapted for people who have different sensory perceptions. Hyper- and hypo-sensitivity will be added to the diagnostic criteria for Autistic Spectrum disorders in the DSM Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders from 2013.

3.45pm-5.15pm School or College From a Person, Not Just a Textbook.
This twilight session is aimed at all teaching staff. Tea and coffee will be served from 3.30pm.

To book FREE tickets fcr any of the sessions please visit our Eventbrite page or email

All sessions will be held at La Villette Hotel.

Tickets are free of charge, however there will be a donation bucket if you should wish to make a small contribution towards costs.

Christmas Party
Sunday 13th December
Western Community Centre (Styx)

Our Christmas party is for families with children with autism, but we also include children with ADHD and other related special needs. New families are always welcome to come along.

Activities will include:

  • Bouncy castle and slide
  • Pop up tents, tunnels, hoops, footballs and other physical play equipment
  • Lego
  • Toys (Brio trains, Happy Land, Megablocks etc)
  • Art and crafts

Our book library will be available for browsing and borrowing.

We shall be serving a children's party tea at around 4.30pm. The menu shall be as follows:

Ham, cheese and jam sandwiches, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, pizza slices, vegetable crudites, crisps, fresh fruit, small cakes and biscuits. Please advise if your child has any special dietary requirements.

If anyone is able to bring along some cakes then we would be very grateful!

This will be a free event, but a donation pot will be available on the day if you wish to make a small contribution towards costs.

To book tickets please visit our Eventbrite page or email

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