As a charity, we rely on your kind donations to continue our work. By donating to Autism West Midlands, you are helping us to fund a variety of projects which provide specialist support and advice to people of all ages with autism and their families. This includes our Autism Information Helpline.
Autism West Midlands Information Helpline
Thousands of people receive support from our helpline each year. It is often the first port of call for a parent following a child’s diagnosis or first point of contact for families and individuals in crisis!
Our helpline costs £15 an hour to run and is funded through voluntary donations, grants and trusts. In the last 5 years it is estimated we have helped over 15,000 individuals through contacts made to the helpline.
Who works on the helpline?
Elaine is a Helpline Autism Advisor and has worked at Autism West Midlands for 9 years.
My favourite part about working on the helpline is the unpredictability! You never know what each day will bring.
There really is no such thing a typical day! Our calls and emails are so varied in topics. For example we can tackle very serious issues such as calls from individuals on the spectrum who are desperate, lonely and feeling like they have no-where to turn, we have families who feel they cannot cope with their child’s violent or aggressive behaviour due to a build-up of anxiety or frustration. There are those seeking information about autism diagnosis , benefits, support groups and even if there is an autism friendly hairdressers or what is the best dog for a child with autism. The list really is endless.
We are usually the first point of contact for families and individuals in crisis. There is a desperate need for the service we provide.
The service that the Helpline provides is a lifeline for a lot of families and Individuals effected by autism who are genuinely grateful for the opportunity to talk to someone who really understands.
In the current climate there are fewer and fewer services to signpost families and adults to. The Helpline provides one of the most valuable things, that is a listening ear.
Sometimes, this is enough. The chance for someone be totally honest about their situation in absolute confidence, can make all the difference.
Without the Helpline service, there would be far more families at crisis point and far more adults with no-where to turn for help and support.
Who do we help?
Our Helpline is often the first point of contact for many families in crisis. Thousands of people receive support from our helpline each year. It is often the first port of call for a parent following a child’s diagnosis.
Sylvia’s family are supported by autism west midlands. She has used the helpline on several occasions when her son was having a particularly hard time. He was struggling at school, Sylvia was only getting 2 hours a night sleep, he was violent, aggressive and such an unhappy boy because of all the negative things being thrown at him. Sylvia found the helpline and phoned them up.
“I phoned the helpline and they were kind and just listened, staff were always very knowledgeable and always very helpful. Sometimes it was just if you are having a bad day I would ring up and say I’m having a really bad day”.
How can you Help?
By donating to Autism West Midlands, you are helping us to fund a variety of projects which provide specialist support and advice to people of all ages with autism and their families. This includes our Autism Information Helpline.
If you would like to fundraise for Autism West Midlands we are registered with Just Giving to make things as easy as possible! Here are some instructions to guide you through the process of setting up a fundraising page for your sponsored event or challenge.
Our helpline welcomes calls from parents and carers who live anywhere in the West Midlands to discuss concerns they have about autism (before and after diagnosis). Callers will find experienced, understanding staff who offer a listening ear and who can provide information about autism and local support services. Please note that our Helpline is a very busy but small department that may take several days to respond to requests…and we appreciate your patients during this time. This vital service is funded by the generosity of individuals and companies that donate to the charity.