Looking after your health, Mencap children’s projects, Understanding PDA, PIP payments scandal

Guides to looking after your health for autistic people and people with a learning disability

Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group announcement:
We are excited to announce that the new Sheffield Physical Health webpages for people with learning disabilities and/or autism (and the people who support them) are now live on the Sheffield Mental Health Guide.

There is also a page aimed at GPs and other health care professionals with additional useful information.

These pages have been co-designed with people with lived experience and with feedback from health care professionals.

The webpages explain that it is especially important to look after your health if you have a learning disability or you are autistic, and provide details about how you can do this, for example by attending your annual health checks. I have also included some images which can be used to promote the webpages – you can use these as part of your social media comms or print them out to share with people with LD and/or autism.

This project has been funded by Sheffield CCG and NHS England, as part of the strategy to address health inequalities of people with learning disabilities, autism, and severe mental illness.”

Mencap projects for children

Sheffield Mencap and Gateway have a range of extra-curricular projects for children aged 6 – 16 with learning difficulties/disabilities or autism. There is something for everyone – from drama to fitness to technology. All projects are welcoming, fun, inclusive and designed to support children to develop their communication, confidence and social interaction.

We are currently seeking referrals for all projects for the academic year 2021/2022. Attached is a flyer which gives more details of our projects, along with an application form.

Children’s Groups flyer A5_double sided

Children’s Services Application Form 2021-22

Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

An online learning series: 16th & 17th July 2021 from Autism Learns in partnership with the National Autistic Society (payable)

Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

PIP payments scandal

DWP ‘may have unlawfully deprived tens of thousands of PIP claimants of back-payments’


New employment toolkit launched to support autistic young people

The charities Ambitious about Autism and The Autism Education Trust have created the Transition to employment toolkit to tackle the problem of autistic young people falling out of education, employment or training when they leave school.

The Transition to employment toolkit has been developed to support those working with autistic young people to understand their needs and help them onto the job ladder, or into further training or education. It includes resources for employers, careers professionals and young autistic people themselves.

For more information see the Ambitious About Autism website.

The Reason I Jump (Relaxed Version) – Showroom Workstation Cinema – Sheffield

On a number of dates during June the Showroom Cinema is screening ‘The Reason I Jump’  based on the bestselling book with the same title by Naoki Higashida. As well as being Autistic, Higashida is also non-verbal, and strengthens what Autistic adult activists are fighting for; making reasonable adjustments within the Autism community makes communication possible for those who would have previously been classed as “Low-Functioning”.

Producers have made a version of the film that would be more accessible to Autistic people (the standard cut can be quite intense with little warning of what’s coming), so the Showroom are screening both cuts of the film, with half of the screenings adapted to make a more relaxed environment.

They accept CEA cards and access cards.

Information on the screening can be found here: The Reason I Jump (Relaxed Version) – Showroom Workstation – Sheffield

Information about the venue accessibility can be found here: How to find us – Showroom Workstation – Sheffield

New resources for parents of autistic children and children with other neurological conditions

An important source of new information and help for parents and carers of children with autism and other neurological disorders is now available on the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust website. You can find it here:

The authors say:

We hope that the information on our website can help with strategies, and support you and your family with the difficulties that lots of young people with neurodevelopmental conditions experience. There are a number of pages filled with resources to manage difficulties around sleep, mood, anxiety, sensory issues and going back to school. Additional information and resources are also available on our DCD webpage (DCD is Developmental Coordination Disorder / Dyspraxia).”

There is also a child autism Mythbuster, developed in conjunction with various partners including the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum:


Zoom Session with Helen Eaton on Social Anxiety and Emotional Regulation, Thursday 29th April

Sheffield Autistic Society has commissioned Autism Specialist Helen Eaton to provide a Zoom session for autistic people on Thursday 29th April:

Helen says:  “My training comes from an Autistic perspective. Understanding Autistic challenges and strengths is key to my work. Having trained thousands of people I have learnt from their stories and experiences. Autistic thinking is about thinking differently – it’s not wrong or faulty. Helping people understand Autism may enable changes that can make a real difference to someone’s life.”

If you are interested in having a place in this session, please email Liz Friend at:

You will receive Zoom meeting details by email. Helen is very happy to have questions sent to her before hand, so please can you email Helen directly or via Liz with anything you would like to be answered, relating to social anxiety and emotional regulation.

Online Workshops: Creativity, Well-being and Lived Autistic Experience

We are very pleased to be able to offer the opportunity to take part in a series of four online workshops, Creativity, Well-being and Lived Autistic Experience, starting later this month.

Please see the flyer below for full details of the workshops.

The workshop will be facilitated by Helen Purdie who many of you know from the group and has run a fantastic session for us before and therefore we are very pleased to be able offer this opportunity free of charge to anyone wishing to take part. Places are limited so you may want to register your interest as soon as you can

For more information please contact the Helen at

Neurodevelopment Transformation Programme – Invitation to a Workshop on Tuesday 23rd March

Neurodevelopment Transformation Programme

Invitation to a Workshop on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 from 10.30 -12.30
For parents/carers of a child or young person with autism or other neurodevelopment need (for example Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

(please note a Zoom link will be sent after registration)
Join us to hear about the Sheffield Neurodevelopment Programme and help shape what we are focussing on now and what we need to focus on in the next phase.

Do you have an interest in, or are you a parent/carer of a child or young person with autism or other neurodevelopment need (for example Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD))? If so, then local NHS organisations and Sheffield City Council, together with the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum, would like to invite you to their first workshop to discuss and contribute to the Sheffield Neurodevelopment Programme.

You will hear about how the programme started, the changes that have taken place so far, and have the opportunity to contribute to what we are looking at now, and what we need to do next.

In particular we are looking for your input into:
• How we can support front-line staff to identify and support vulnerabilities and other early signs of neurodevelopment needs.
• What support should be available for parents, families, and young people to help them manage neurodevelopment needs.
• Explore which services could be delivered closer to home, for example in schools.
• What improvements should take place in the way we do assessments.

If you are interested in joining us, please register using the following link. An invite will be sent out to you in due course with further information, together with a link to join the meeting. Places are limited, so please register as soon as possible:
We look forward to seeing you on the Tuesday 23rd March 2021