No better way to find out about us than to read some testimonials!
Do you have a child with an Autism Spectrum Condition, including Autism or Asperger Syndrome?
Do you feel that no-one understands the problems you face?
Do you sometimes want information or ideas on where to go for advice?
SIGNAL Family Support (SIGNAL FS) is a voluntary parent support group, based in Lewisham, set up in 1993 by parents of children who have autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or other autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and some professionals. We are now a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, have a committee of ten and over 35 parent volunteers. In 2010 we founded an office at The Amersham Road Children's Centre in New Cross, and began employing an administrator who now works for us 3 days a week. We commission out a small amount of our book-keeping, administration and fundraising, but most of the work of running SIGNAL FS is taken on by parent volunteers.
We offer emotional support by sharing experiences and putting parents in touch with each other; give practical help by exchanging ideas about coping with problem behaviours/obsessions/speech difficulties etc; provide information and advice about education/specialist services; give hope and celebrate the hard-won successes, large or small, which our very special children achieve.
We hold a monthly evening meeting which often have talks from experts on a variety of topics related to autism, including current research and educational provision. Our coffee mornings are open to all members, to exchange ideas, experiences, and information or just have a chat, and locations rotate around different homes of some of our members.
We produce information packs for new members, a newsletter 5 times a year, a monthly e-bulletin and run an autism borrowing library with many specialist books, journals and articles, videos, and specially selected children’s books.
We maintain links with local schools, hold conferences for schools/teachers, run dramatherapy and trampolining activities and link in with other exercise projects. We provide parent speakers for local functions to raise autism awareness and fundraise within the local community.
We also have a Summer family party, a Xmas get–together for the adults, and run and subsidise trips, activities and holiday outings for our membership. We run a book club, a 16+ club and a sibling club. We are also very closely associated with CLASH (Campaign in Lewisham for Autism Spectrum Housing) a voluntary organisation which is working to establish supported housing and residential accommodation in the borough of Lewisham for young adults with Aspergers Syndrome or High Functioning Autism.
We lobby for better services for ASD children in general, particularly in educational provision; have parent representatives on various forums and steering groups in the borough, and have a support/partnership role with the Local Authority re the new ASD school in Lewisham (opening 2012).
We also seek to increase autism awareness in the community as a whole. In order to provide better services to autistic children and their families, we welcome professional members who also benefit from what we offer. We provide training and maintain links with services.
We fundraise in the community and through grant-givers, and occasionally receive short term council funding for specific projects. We are always in need of funds to enable us to carry out the work we do, so please feel free to make a donation by clicking HERE.