May Newsletter

The National Autistic Society Guernsey Branch

May Newsletter

Recent Branch News

We held our AGM on Tuesday 9th April. Catherine Hall was re-elected as Branch Officer, assisted by Catherine Nicholls as Treasurer as well as Jo Horsepool, Michelle Riseborough, Ron O'Rourke, Sam Edwards and Judith Pattimore and Rachel Major as Committee Members.  We were delighted to welcome Jonathon Hanna, a young man with Aspergers Syndrome, who spoke about his personal experiences gaining and then dealing with a diagnosis. His presentation stressed the need for acceptance and understanding and left many members of the audience thinking about what he had shared with us. Thankyou, Jonathon.

Several groups of children have enjoyed a film showing of Madagasgar 3 at the Venue, an art workshop wiht artist Frances Lemmon and a session of archery with Outdoor Guerney and Dave Le Page during the last month or so, which have been 3 lovely and sociable Sunday afternoons out. We have organised a few more events - so see below, but we always welcome your suggestions of what you and your children would like to take part in. We are particularly aware of the need to provide opportunities for teenagers and young adults- we know you are out there, but again, let us know what you would perhaps like to try and we will do our best to get it sorted!

We held another 2 day SPELL training course in April which was attended by both parents/carers and a range of professionals. We will be holding the first in a new series of family seminars in June - see below for more details.

Autism Guernsey

Autism Guernsey held its official launch on Wednesday 10th April, with invited guest speakers Baroness Jill Pitkeathly and Jonathon Hanna who captivated the audience with their short presentations.
You can follow Autism Guernsey on Twitter @autismguernsey or contact them on 727965, and look out for their website which is being launched soon -

Autism and Girls

The NAS recently held a live web chat about girls on the spectrum and education with Dr Jacqui Ashton Smith, the Executive Principal of Helen Allison & Robert Ogden Schools and Head of Operations for Schools at the National Autistic Society
To replay the chat and read the Q&A dealt with visit
There is also more information here about the gender differences in autism

We have a number of books in our library on the topic of autism and girls

Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Overcoming the Challenges and Celebrating the Gifts, Eileen Riley-Hall
Girls Growing up on the Autism Spectrum: What parents and professionals should know about the pre-teen and teenage years, Shana Nichols
Aspergers and Girls, Tony Attwood
Aspergers in Pink: A Guidebook for raising (or being) a girl with Aspergers Syndrome, Rudy Simone

Upcoming Events

We have been busy organising a few more upcoming events, with special thanks to Karen Garnham who has secured some fantastic opprtunities.
All our events are open to families and children with autism/Aspergers Syndrome/ADHD and other related SEN plus siblings and friends.

Autism Seminars for Families - Understanding Autism

Tuesday 11th and 18th June (you will need to attend both sessions as they follow on from each other)
Le Cotils Christian Centre
£10 per family (includes up to 2 places and course booklet and handouts)

The NAS have recently produced a new series of seminars to replace the help! programme that was previously provided. The seminars provide information, advice and support to families of children and young people with autism, including Asperger syndrome. The seminars are ideal for families with a child or teenager who has recently been diagnosed, or who would like to further develop their understanding, perhaps leading on from the Earlybird course.

The first seminar, on Understanding Autism, helps families to:

  • develop an understanding of autism
  • discuss experiences of getting a diagnosis
  • identify how autism can affect families
  • explore practical ideas for developing communication strategies
  • clarify the support that families may be entitled to and ways to access this.
There will be plenty of time to discuss questions and answers and share experiences between families.

We will be running further seminars on sensory needs, managing anger, understanding behaviour and supporting siblings.

Please contact Catherine Hall, Branch Officer, by emailing or phone 246025 to book a place.

Bristol Cutters sailing trips

Saturday 22nd June
1pm - 3pm

Bristol Cutters sailing trips on Merlin & Amelia Rose
Maxium 12 persons on each boat from 8 years to adults.
Please let Karen Garnham know  ASAP if you would like to reserve a FREE place
Open to ADHD/NAS/WIGWAM/MOVINGONCLUB members and siblings or friend, email Karen Garnham


NAS Summer Party

Sunday 14th July
Styx Community Centre

Due to the popularity and huge numbers at our Easter Egg Hunt and Christmas Party, we have decided to run our summer party for a slightly longer time, so you can choose whether to turn up early and join us for a BBQ lunch or turn up for a BBQ lunch and then stay on - hopefully this flexibilty will make things a little less congested!

This will be a free event but all contributions towards costs will be very gratefully received on the day.

Sailing on the Model Yacht Pond

Friday 26th July and Friday 16th August 10.30am - 11.30am

Suitable for children aged approximately 7-15 years
Open to NAS/ADHD/Wigwam members plus siblings and friends
Please contact Karen to put your children's names down for a FREE place


Just a reminder that we are still using easyFundraising as a way to generate funds for the branch without any additional cost to you.
Visit for more information and get fundraising!

Wigwam Website

Wigwam, the local special needs support group has relaunched their website - it looks great and is full of useful information about special needs and what the charity does. Take a look by clicking here
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