A safe haven for Banbury’s ASD community

Hanwell Fields Community Centre NNL-161223-100618001
Hanwell Fields Community Centre NNL-161223-100618001
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Banbury’s ASD (Autsim Spectrum Disorders) community is to gain an important source of support, offering an opportunity to socialise, meet new friends and share positive experiences.

Leah Taylor has organised the adult and children’s sessions which will take place at the Hanwell Fields Community Centre from January.

Leah became involved with the charity Appaws For Autism after her son, Donté, five, was diagnosed in 2015 with Aspergers, a type of autism, and she is now a trustee and regular blogger for the group.

The sessions being offered will be tailored to either adults or children and will cover all aspects within the autism spectrum, not just Aspergers.

Leah said: “Since I started fundraising, I became aware of just how big the ASD community is in Banbury and surrounding areas. The community doesn’t just consist of children, but also many adults are on the spectrum too.

“There is a huge gap of support in Banbury for families with autistic children and adults who are autistic themselves. I have been approached by schools and SENCO staff of Banbury, who all agree that these sessions will be invaluable to these families and ASD adults.”

The Adult Autism Support group sessions will begin on January 8 between 1 and 3pm and are designed for adults to come together, meet new people and socialise. Carers or trusted friends can enter free and the cost of the session is just £3.

The Children’s ASD Play Sessions begin on January 29 between 1 and 3pm and are £4 per child and just £1 for additional siblings.

The play sessions will be hosted along with Twinkle Stars Sing and Play run by Tara Lever. She said: “Leah brought her family along to one of my Twinkle Stars’ events last Easter.

“Donté really enjoyed himself and felt at ease and I think this is what triggered Leah’s idea of getting me on board with the autism play sessions.”

Additionally Leah is incorporating other community groups to the sessions, including Autism Family Support and The Waterfowl Sanctuary.

Once established, ASD-friendly trips for adults and children are also planned.

Leah added: “I want to create an environment that offers support and friendship without any judgement or pressures.”

For info email appawsleah100@yahoo.com.