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Autism Information Hub

Autism Hub closure

In light of continuing government advice about social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Gateshead Autism Information Hub team has reluctantly decided to suspend all our meetings until the end of April at least. We will review the situation then and depending on advice at that time, we'll decide whether to recommence in May.

The Elgin Centre will be closed form 4.30pm on Friday 20 March until further notice.

Updates will be issued to keep you informed.

The Autism Information Hub is free to access and offers resources about autism and a monthly face to face information and signposting service to people with autism, their families/carers and practitioners. You do not need a diagnosis to access the Hub. 

Every month, the Autism Information Hub there is a drop-in session offering face-to-face signposting and information with Autism specialists and parents / carers. This is an opportunity to speak with a professionally trained autism specialist and talk about your queries. There is also a community cafe, a sensory space, play areas and toy library on site and we welcome parents and carers of children with autism to drop in and meet informally to relax and share experiences.    

The face to face information point provides: 

  • a friendly person to speak to who is experienced in the field of autism
  • guidance on how a diagnosis of autism works in Gateshead
  • information on autism training opportunities, events and group activities for children, young people, families, adults and professionals
  • guidance and signposting to appropriate support services and voluntary and charity organisations operating locally

Face to face drop-in sessions are held on the third Monday of every month from 9.30 to 11.30am. Free car parking is available. There is free exclusive access to the sensory room for parents / carers attending the drop-in.

Get directions and more details about what's on at The Elgin children's centre.

Drop-in and support group dates 2020

Day time support group
Fridays 9.30 - 11.30am.
6 March,3 April, 1 May, 5 June, 3 July, 7 August, 11 September, 2 October,  6 November, 4 December.

Hub drop-in
Mondays 9.30 -11.30am
16 March, 20 April, 18 May, 15 June, 17 August, 21 September, 19 October, 16 November, 21 December.

Evening support group
Fridays 6 - 7.30pm
13 March, 17 April, 15 May, 12 June, 14 August, 18 September, 16 October, 13 November, 18 December. 

A parent of a child with autism has written a helpful guide for parents wishing to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for their autistic child. If you would like a copy of the guide, you can come along to the next Monday session, or email karen.thirlaway@blueyonder.co.uk 

For more information about the Autism Information Hub, contact the Elgin Children's Centre, Elgin Road, Gateshead, NE9 5PA, phone 0191 433 6300 or email gatesheadchildrenscentre@gateshead.gov.uk   

Gateshead Central Library, The Hub's previous home, also holds a wide variety of helpful books available to borrow covering a range of topics such as diagnosis, sensory differences, anxiety, sleep and social skills. TheIcon for pdf Autism book collection [1.32MB] leaflet highlights the books that are currently available. Librarians can show you how to use Picture Exchange Communication Software (PECS) which has been installed on one of the computers at the library so that you can compile and print out social story boards. These can be used to support communication for routines, behaviour and new vocabulary. There is a small cost for using the computers and printers at the library. A quiet space is also available. Directions to the Central Library, opening times, accessibility information and contact details can be found on the Gateshead Libraries website.

A small library of autism books and resources are also available at Pelaw Library. Directions to Pelaw Library, opening times, accessibility information and contact details can be found on the Pelaw Library webpage.

Icon for pdf Download the Autism Information Hub flyer [277.86KB]

Autism Parent Support Group

Gateshead's Autism Information Hub has a spin-off support group for parents and carers affected by autism. The group meets between 9.30 and 11.30am on the first Friday of each month at the Elgin Children's Centre.

All parents and carers are welcome to join the group for mutual support and information-sharing about their autism experiences.

For further details please contact karen.thirlaway@blueyonder.co.uk

Icon for pdf Gateshead Autism Service Directory [749.97KB]directory highlights local, regional and national support services and organisations, some of which are autism-specific.

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