Who We Are & What We Do
We aim to improve quality of life for people with ASD and help them to reach their full potential through five interrelated endeavours:
- Bringing information and support for a variety of therapeutic and educational approaches to the community of parents, professionals, and people with ASD through publications, events, and social networks.
- Bringing people together and strengthening the community – creating opportunities where people can get together to support and learn from each other, though live events and online forums.
- Sharing research, clinical outcomes, and parent experiences of possible treatments for the physical conditions that are correlated with and may underlie or exacerbate the symptoms that comprise ASD.
- Campaigning to ensure that appropriate and timely medical support is available to all people with ASD, while providing parents, people with ASD, and professionals information that will help overcome obstacles to having medical needs addressed.
- Advocating for research into the development and evaluation of biomedical approaches to treating autism’s debilitating symptoms.
Thinking Autism provides information and support to families and individuals affected by autism with the aim of improving quality of life and reducing disabling symptoms of autism.
Our charity is run by volunteers and a small paid staff, all of whom are parents of children with autism. Our work is informed by our wider community, including our members, adults with ASD, autism professionals and researchers.
We host a number of live events to support families. Local events provide people a chance to meet and exchange information and experiences with others. They often feature a talk by a local practitioner or parent.
Thinking Autism Roadshows generally feature three speakers, are free to members and offer a chance for participants to learn and socialize.
Our autism conferences, generally every two years, are in every way on a much larger scale than the Roadshows and feature international speakers.
We also offer our members live Facebook events which feature professional speakers from all over the UK and wider, who share information about various options for improving quality of life for people with autism.
All of our live events offer information based on research, clinical experience, and lived experience pertaining to possible treatment and therapy options. Importantly, these events provide opportunities to make connections with other families as well as with service providers.
Our website houses a great deal of information, including information booklets and documents created and published by the charity. Printed documents are provided free of charge to the wider community, including other organisations, members of government bodies, and medical and research professionals.
Our charity also runs an active Facebook community, a Twitter feed, and is a proud member of the global Autism Collaboration.
We foster relationships between researchers and clinicians in the field so that they can advance the scientific agenda and treatments for disabling symptoms of autism, as well as comorbid and underlying medical conditions, to the benefit of all people and families affected by autism. To this end we have established the Thinking Autism Researchers and Clinicians Network.
Lastly, we run advocacy campaigns and liaise with policy makers and service providers to improve standards of health care for people with autism.
We are the only UK autism charity that focuses on addressing and removing the barriers to appropriate medical care for people with autism, which has been identified as the key problem and one of the major contributors to high stress and poor quality of life of people with autism and their parents and carers.
Our publication on recognising and addressing comorbid and underlying health problems in autism has been well received and disseminated throughout the UK and wider, and has been translated into several languages.
We are a membership society—please read about full benefits of joining Thinking Autism as a member—but many of our supports and services are provided free to non-members as well.
We change lives by providing hope, emotional support and practical information.
We envision a world in which disabling symptoms of autism are fully preventable and treatable on an individual basis.
When you get your child’s diagnosis you can be told that there is no future to look forward to for them. Everything appears bleak. Thinking Autism completely turns that on its head. It has changed not only my son’s life but our whole family’s life. The conferences give so much information for a parent to start helping bring their child back to full health. The support I have had from fellow parents who attend these conferences is priceless. I have life long friends and a support network that completely understands mine and my son’s life. I know my son would not be the healthy 12 year old that he is today without them and I would not have the support that I do without them. Gratitude and thanks will never be enough for what I feel for TA.
(feedback from a parent)
Thinking Autism has provided me with valuable support – I know I’m not alone and that I have somewhere to turn. The support groups are WONDERFUL, conference was GREAT and emails are helpful. Facebook groups also helpful! I use the discounts Thinking Autism provides every month! I have been given the resources with which to take our arguments for Treatment to local MP, Community Peadiatrician and various GPs. You’re doing a great job.
(feedback from a parent)