A Worthing mum has decided to close her successful group for parents of children with autism.
Lindsey Butterfield has seen Parents for Autism grow to 1,200 members, who have benefited from excellent speakers, information, advice and social gatherings.
She started the group because she found little support with her own son when was diagnosed with autism but feels that now he is an adult, it is time to take a step back and wind the group down.
Having said that, Lindsey will go out with a bang, as she is organising a special event to mark World Autism Awareness Day, bringing advice and support under one roof.
Lindsey said: “After nine years of running a group in Worthing called Parents for Autism, I will be closing the group down. Originally set up many years ago because there was lack of support for myself, the group grew and grew. To date, we currently have 1,200 members within the group.
“Over the years, we have run regular evening sessions with guest speakers who provided information and advice to families that was relevant to them at the time.
“We have been extremely lucky to have a number of excellent speakers who tour the world sharing their expertise and experiences to help families understand what it is like to be autistic, etc. As well as this, we have also enjoyed many social activities, such as cocktail making workshop, gingerbread house decorating at Christmas, afternoon tea, cinema trips and much more.
“Now, it is time to take a step back. I am now working full time and caring for my autistic son, who is now an adult, so what better way of winding down but to hold an event to mark National Autism Awareness Day on April 2. This event is proving to be extremely popular and I have also been approached by several organisations to run this in other local authorities.”
Parents for Autism will be hosting the event at the Charmandean Centre, Forest Road, Worthing, on Tuesday, April 2, from 9.30am to 3pm.
More than 45 organisations, providers and services will be taking part to help support families. The workshops are now fully booked but there will be behaviour clinics that families can book on to once they arrive.
Lindsey said: “To be able to access all of this information under one roof is extremely rare and we are so pleased by the response we have had so far. Over half of the tickets have already sold. We will be providing refreshments and a sandwich lunch during the day, too.
“This event is open to families and professionals and you are able to pop in whenever you want during the day and leave when you are ready, so no pressure to stay all day.”
Tickets are £6.45. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.