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Autism Bedfordshire is a charity that provides services to individuals with autism, their families, carers and professionals across Bedfordshire. Our key purpose is to provide emotional and practical support as well as information, advice, guidance and advocacy.
The outcomes our services deliver (as evidenced by our monitoring and evaluation) are:
1. Individuals with autism and their families will feel less isolated.
2. Individuals with autism will develop confidence, self-esteem, communication, social and life skills.
3. Parents will feel less stressed and better able to cope.
4. Parents will improve their knowledge about autism and the services available.
Autism is a lifelong disability so our membership reflects this as we support both children and adults. We run countywide services for our members including:
- family support groups (L.O.A.F. - Loads of Autistic Fun)
- youth groups (Wanted Fun)
- summer activity schemes
- extended services (e.g. trampolining, golf and swim sessions)
- skills training courses for adults with autism
- social groups for adults with autism
- parent training
- autism awareness training for professions (levels 1, 2 and 3)
- a helpline service (01234 350704) with trained and experienced team members on hand to answer calls (anything from services enquiries to crisis calls).
Autism Bedfordshire’s members can access books and other resources from our library and will receive our bi-monthly newsletter giving details about our services and other groups and activities that may be of interest. We also communicate information to members and our staff through e-newsletters. We have a website that anyone can access and we are on Facebook and Twitter.
Care Forum is a Home Support Service for Children and Young People with a Physical or Learning Disability and their families providing support either in their own homes or in the community. We provide carers with a break from the caring role and give them time for other family members.
We enable young people to participate in community activities and integrate into society, enabling them to gain independence and social skills to fulfill their potential. We offer support to families in the day to day care of their children where extra help is needed such as morning or evening routines, mealtimes, personal care and health care needs. We support children in school settings and assist with managing behaviours.
We offer overnight and weekend care in the child's own home to enable parents to sleep or take a short break away. We accompany parents on day trips if additional help is needed.
Sessions range from an hour to help with routines, 3 or 4 hours in the community to an evening sit or taking a child on holiday for a week.
Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human function and movement and maximising potential.
It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being.
In children, Chartered Physiotherapists work to combat a broad range of physical problems in particular those associated with neuromuscular, musculo-skeletal, and respiratory systems.
The paediatric physiotherapy service will offer assessment and treatment to children 0-19 years and aims to help the child achieve their full physical potential and minimise any secondary problems. These can be children with moderate or severe physical disability and/or learning disabilities or can be children with orthopaedic and musculoskeletal complaints.
Exercise, positioning, equipment provision, and 24 hour postural care are some of the approaches used.
See leaflet ‘Childrens Physiotherapy Services’ for further information.
Contact a Family is a national charity for families with disabled children
We provide information, advice and support. We bring families together so they can support each other. We campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.
Please click the link to open to the Contact A Family website
Promotes the use of sign language in the local community. Offers support for deaf children and people of all ages by linking them with social groups, interpreters/communicators and national organisations for the deaf.
FACES aim to support families during difficult periods in their lives, especially where this will contribute to keeping children with their families. Our objectives include working in partnership with parents to promote the well-being of each family as a whole and enabling families to manage their affairs with increased confidence and independence
Our service is not time limited however we would aim to work with the family towards an end goal.
Early Help and Troubled Families Support
Domestic Abuse Support
Baby FACES - support from pregnancy through to the transition into parenthood
Face2FACES CBT course
Family Group - a weekly group for parents and their children
Relationship workshops for new parents
Monthly group for Fathers and their children
Protective Behaviours Workshops
Holiday clubs are held at Unit 5 Britannia Estate, Leagrave Road, Luton, Beds , LU3 1RJ. Holiday clubs are a lifeline to families and offer practical support, a range of creative, stimulating and FUN activities for children and young people within a safe non-judgmental environment. Activities include: play equipment and sensory equipment, plus IT and games equipment, workshops, messy play, drama and music, reptile shows and lots of other FUN activities.
The Link Project helping young people with a disability or learning need/s to access peer friendship by take part in activities in their communities. Once a month two volunteers will take the young person out accessing transport and learning everyday life skills while having fun.
FUNlands Youth Club is held on a Monday night term time only at Unit 5, Britannia Estate, Leagrave Road, Luton, Beds , LU3 1RJ. FUNlands runs 6.30pm till 8.30 pm for young people aged 10 - 17 years old with additional needs/disabilities.
FUN Young Adult Club
FUN young adult for 18 – 25 years old on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm – 8.30pm for young adults with additional needs (term time only). This is a safe environment for Young adults with learning disabilities to meet, socialise and take part in activities with their friends.
Saturday Club is a full short break service offering young people with disabilities aged 10 – 25 years 1:1 support whilst accessing on and off site activities. Off site activities are local, such as swimming, bowling, cinema, picnics, sports etc. For more details please check the website: www.familiesunitednetwork.org.uk or call the office on 01582 420800.
Keech Swim - FUN hires Keech Hospice Hydrotherapy pool fortnightly offering families a swim session for those that need the sensory and stimulation of lights and the warmer water.
Hart Hill Adventure Playground - FUN exclusively hires Hart Hill Adventure Playground in partnership with Autism Beds and Fab Friendz. These sessions are a great activity for families.
The session provides rest bite care for families with children/young people with special educational
needs and/or disabilities. The provision aims to offer a more socially focussed service offer than that of school to allow the children and young people more free choice within the meaningful activities we offer. The outcomes we work towards are those of social interaction, development of life skills and positive experiences through a range of varied activities.
The types of activities we offer include:
Sports & Active Play
Arts & Crafts
Cooking & baking
Social Play (computers, video games, pool table)
Trips & Visits
Special Events (seasonal)
The participants experience a wide range of engaging activities within the categories listed above. All activities are assessed to be inclusive and fit for purpose for the participants needs.
We support over 13,500 disabled children, young people and their families every year by delivering over 120 services throughout England.
KIDS is unique; there is no other organisation dedicated to providing such an extensive range of services to disabled children and young people, aged 0-25 years, irrespective of their impairment or condition.
Music Therapy is a psychological intervention which provides a unique opportunity for a child, young person or adult to express themselves through sound and/or voice at their own pace. Music Therapists are skilled at listening and responding, and have experience working with a very wide range of disabilities including SEBD, complex medical needs, MSI, MLD, SLD and PMLD. Music Therapy is client led, and is non-confrontational; using music (easily accessible instruments and voice) to enable an improvised dialogue to be established between the therapist and the client.
Please note: Music Therapists are not teachers. We do not offer instrumental lessons for children and young people with SEND.
Music Therapy Bedfordshire is a team of music therapists that can provide:
Individual (one to one) music therapy sessions
Small group music therapy sessions
Liaison with other professionals
Advice and support to parent/carers with regard to music therapy
There are no limitations on the length of time each person can access music therapy. The therapist will advise, following an initial assessment.
Questionnaires are used to evaluate outcomes
Typical outcomes may include:
• Raised self-esteem and confidence
• Reduced anxiety
• Increased resilience and emotional wellbeing
• Reduced physical tension
• Increased motivation to communicate
• Improved social skills