Useful Links

(Disclaimer: Sheffield Autistic Society does not control the contents of the websites listed on this page. Their inclusion does not mean that we recommend or endorse the services of these organisations. Similarly, the fact that an intervention, treatment or dietary recommendation is described in links that are listed in this page or any section of this page does not necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence to support its use, or that it is suitable for a particular individual with autism.)

Please contact us if you can suggest other websites to add to this list.

(Note – In addition to the support information and links given below, you will find more information in our FAQs and more links in our Find Out About pages.)

Local Volunteer Organisations Supporting Autistic Children and their Families

Sheffield Autistic Society

We run a number of events for children and families.
Please see Forthcoming Events for details.

Asperger’s Children and Carers Together (ACCT)

ACCT  has lots of activities for children with AS and autism:
“We are a parent-led support group for children and families affected by Asperger’s syndrome and High Functioning Autism. We run activity groups for children and teenagers with Asperger’s and Autism, as well as family days out and other trips. Siblings are welcome  too. We also host weekly drop-in sessions at Acctivate and monthly meetings for parents and carers.

Members are invited to all ACCT activities, receive a quarterly newsletter and have use of our library. Membership is free.
We run:

  • Monthly Parent Meetings
  • Social Events
  • Family Days Out
  • Sports Activities
  • A Book and DVD Library
  • A Weekly parent/carer drop in session at ACCTivate
  • ACCTivate, the Weekly Children’s Club
  • A Weekly Teenage Youth Club”

Sparkle Sheffield
Started by parents of autistic children, Sparkle Sheffield exists to help families with autistic children meet the challenges they face, feel less isolated, less frightened and more empowered. Autism affects families in different ways but only the parent of an autistic child can truly understand what life is like for us.

Sparkle Sheffield offers:

  • Peer and mentor support giving parents opportunity and time to talk things through.
  • Hand holding mentors to accompany parents to appointments and meetings.
  • Individual information and advice sessions.
  • Guest speakers helping to address problem areas such as communication, potty training, puberty.
  • Autism friendly activities that all family members can attend.

Parent Carer Forum
We are an independent group of parents and carers of children and young people (0-25) with disabilities and special educational needs. Our main aim is to ensure the needs of our children are met. We bring together parent carers from across Sheffield to provide mutual support, exchange information, and influence policy and practice. We have over 1,500 members.

Ray of Hope
Ray of Hope is a support group based in North Sheffield, for families of children with any kind of special needs. We aim to provide peer support through regular meetings and coffee mornings along with access to information.
Jayne Raynor (Secretary)
c/o 62 Cross Bedford Street
Sheffield S6 3BQ
South Yorkshire
Tel (Mob) 07961 776794

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Local volunteer organisations supporting autistic adults

Sheffield Autistic Society

See our pages Monthly Support Groups, and Groups for Autistic and Asperger Adults.

Sheffield Aspergers Parents Action Group (SAPAG)
SAPAG is an information and support group founded in 2000 for people who are the parents, carers or partners of Adults and young people with Aspergers Syndrome in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

The A Team (SAPAG)

This is a social group for autistic adults over the age of 18 who would previously have been diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome and are not on the learning disability register. It is funded partly by grants and is partly self funding.
The group organises a range of social and educational activities during the year and has about 300 members.
Regular activities include:
– A snooker club, which meets on a Wednesday every two weeks from 7-9pm at the Snooker club on Sharrow Vale Road.
– A monthly meet up at a local pub on the first Monday of the month
– A monthly walk in the area, often on a Sunday
– A monthly Craft activity
– A monthly online discussion Group
– A monthly online social group
– A monthly Board Games session
We also organise other activities which recently have included bowling, crazy golf, a reading group, keep fit, mindfulness, knitting, pilates, climbing, day trips to places of interest, sessions led by members on topics of interest including composting, archeology, Tree identification etc
Meals out, bowling etc

Can anyone wishing to join us please contact the A Team Coordinator: Sylvia Johnson

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Local Carers Organisations

See Sheffield City Council Carers webpage here

Young Carers: For Sheffield’s Services to Young Carers see this page

Adult Carers: Sheffield City Council have given responsibility for their Adult Carers’ services (including adult carers’ needs assessments) to:

Sheffield Carers Centre

“If you are an adult looking after or supporting an adult who is unable to manage for themselves, we are here to help you. Sheffield Carers Centre offer advice, information, support groups and a free newsletter for carers, four times a year.” The Carers Centre has run a support service for carers in the city for nearly twenty years.”

More on services offered by Sheffield Carers Centre here

Sharing Caring Project

The Sharing Caring Project of  Sheffield Mencap and Gateway offer a Keep in Touch Service to older families of people with a learning disability  and regular information sessions for families to help with long term planning. For more information, we recommend you contact Sheffield Mencap and Gateway on 0114 276 7757 or the Sheffield Carers Centre on 114 272 8362.

Sheffield local authority and local NHS organisations

(See also our Education and Health pages for a number of links under this heading.)

Sheffield City Council Adult Care
Sheffield Children and Young People Services

Webpages for these services are now located here:

Sheffield Directory
Not autism-specific and difficult to search or navigate, Sheffield Directory is still the largest single on-line resource for finding a range of disability and support services information locally in Sheffield. Funded by the City Council it has sections for adults, for children and families and for SEN and disabilities.

Sheffield City Council Housing and Accommodation

For Housing Support and Advice from Sheffield City Council see this page from the Sheffield Directory
For Sheffield Housing Services see this page:

Sheffield Guide to Independent Living

Sheffield City Council’s Guide to Independent Living can be downloaded here:
Guide to independent living in Sheffield Jan 2017

NHS Sheffield Adult Autism and Neurodevelopmental Service (SAANS)
“SAANS provides assessment, diagnosis and multi-disciplinary interventions for people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (including disorders formerly known as Aspergers Syndrome) and associated neurodevelopmental disorders including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). SAANS also provides a national assessment and diagnostic service as well as follow-up appointments and counseling subject to agreed funding by the service user’s local Clinical Commissioning Group.
The SAANS Team includes psychology, psychiatry, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and counselling.”

Sheffield Adult Community Mental Health Services:

see this page

Sheffield Mental Health Guide

Sheffield Mental Health Guide “is an on-line resource featuring a comprehensive searchable directory of mental health and wellbeing related services and groups in Sheffield, as well as providing other useful information and self-help resources.

The Guide contains a large directory of organisations and services, all providing support for particular issues or working in specific areas of the city. The purpose of the directory is to enable individuals to find out what is available in Sheffield and make informed choices that suit them best.”

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

Your Health page

Autism page: the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group are developing their autism page and it is hoped that soon there will be useful local autism-related information as well as information from national sources.

Mental Health page

Sheffield Community Learning Disabilities Team:

Sheffield SEN & Disability Information, Advice and Support

SSENDIAS – formerly Parent Partnership Service.  See
“We are a statutory service to provide confidential and impartial information, advice & support to children and young people (aged 0 – 25) with special educational needs and disabilities, as well as to their parents and carers, on a range of matters relating to their SEN or disability.
See also PDF information pages: SENDIAS1 and SENDIAS 2

Sheffield Adult Safeguarding Partnership

“Our website provides a wide range of useful information and resources for members of the public and professionals who may be concerned about adult abuse or neglect. You will find general information on keeping safe and how to report concerns”:

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Other Local Organisations

Sheffield Centre for Independent Living (Disability Sheffield)

The Sheffield Centre for Independent Living is a membership and user led organisation, run and controlled by disabled people. They promote independent living for disabled people in Sheffield.”

They “work with national Government and statutory bodies in Sheffield as a Centre for Inclusive Living actively promoting the rights of disabled, older people and carers.”

Whilst there is nothing that is specific to autism, the extensive website has a great deal of useful information for the disabled community generally in Sheffield with lots of separate sections, links and numerous downloadable factsheets on a variety of helpful topics. Here are links to some of their pages:

Local Information Resources
Accessible Sheffield
Personal Assistants Register
Employment Support
National Information Resources

Sheffield Autism Network

“We aim to bring all those with an interest in autism – either personally and/or professionally – by establishing an Autism Network for Sheffield. We hope that will be able to inform the work of the newly established 0-25 Young People and Children’s Autism Strategy Group and the Sheffield Autism Partnership between Sheffield Council, the local Clinical Commissioning Group, families and autistic adults.We also hope to collectively build on local work to engage businesses and the private sector, arts and film venues, and employers.

Please use this Facebook site to post updates and share information. The Sheffield Autistic Society website will also publish details of the Autism Partnership Board minutes and any notices regarding the Network.

We understand that some people may wish to be involved but are unable to attend meetings but we will vary the times of meetings to try to accommodate different needs. We also hope to establish a social media presence so that it is easy for individuals and groups to share information.”

The Autism Centre for Supported Employment
“We are a small local charity, located in Sheffield City Centre. We have been offering support and advice to adults with autism, as well as to local employers for 13 years. Our aims are:

  • To find paid work and work experience placements for working aged adults who are on the Autistic Spectrum.
  • Give specialist support to our clients as well as advise and support their employer so that each individual gets the best out of the experience.
  • Break down barriers so people who have Autism will be recognised for who they are as individuals.”

The Autism Centre for Supported Employment have kindly let us publish a copy of their very helpful guide for autistic adults and school leavers “Pathways to Employment” which you can download as a PDF file here: Pathways-to-Employment<

Sheffield Safe Places Scheme

“Sheffield Safe Places are a network of businesses and organisations dedicated to providing temporary safe refuge and assistance for adults who find themselves in difficult situations whilst out and about.” For more information see: and

Sheffield Mind

“We have a wide choice of services available to anyone in Sheffield. These range from counselling and psychotherapy to anger management courses and workshops on topics such as emotional wellbeing and living a healthy lifestyle. You can access all our services yourself and if you’re unsure which would be most useful give us a call to talk it through.”
See the Sheffield Mind website  for contact details and a full list and description of their services.

Sheffield Mencap and Gateway

“Our vision is that all people with a learning disability and their carers in Sheffield feel valued, included and respected. We believe that everyone should be supported to reach their full potential and to live the life they choose.

That’s the official line. But what that actually means is that here at Norfolk Lodge we help people to make the most of their lives: to get a little more independence, to find friendship or a partner and to find a job, or fulfilling daytime activity. In other words, our members have the same goals and hopes as everyone else – but facing greater barriers to overcome on the way.”


Shelter’s South Yorkshire hub is based in Sheffield. The hub offers free specialist housing advice, support and guidance if you are homeless, facing homelessness or simply need advice about a housing related issue. See the Shelter website here.

Citizens Advice Bureau – Sheffield Branches
For advice on benefits, housing, money, equality and all sorts of important issues.

SpeakUp and Speakup Self Advocacy
SpeakUp and Speakup Self Advocacy is a Rotherham based organisation run by and for people with learning disabilities and/or autism. Our organisation’s main aim is to ensure that people with learning disabilities and/or autism are valued and included within society. Speakup is not just about Advocacy. We do lots more. Our aim is to do all we can to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism. We do this in lots of ways, including Speakup for Autism, a unique and lively group, started in 2012 to give a unique voice to people with Autism and who work closely with members of Speakup Self Advocacy and people with learning difficulties.

Sheffield Autism Research Lab
The goal of the Autism Research Lab at Sheffield University is to investigate brain, behaviour and cognition in individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) such as autism and Asperger’s disorder. For more about the Sheffield Autism Research Lab (ShARL) please see the Autism Research section of this page.

Within Reach

Within Reach’s mission is to assist more disabled people accessing sport, staying in sport and fulfilling their potential in the City of Sheffield

D.A.W.S Community Gym

Disability Awareness with Sport
Our mission statement – To create a safe and friendly gym environment for all impaired individuals and clients wishing to contribute to their wellbeing without fear of ridicule, prejudice or phobia and fear of exercise. To be advocates for engaging the local impaired and ill health individuals of the community and surrounding area to become healthier and fitter for their everyday living activities regardless of age, background or financial status.

We are a non-profit community gym in Sheffield that promotes a friendly and social atmosphere which often leads to gym members creating their own social events outside of the gym.

The gym is run by Stephen who is a GP Referral and Level 3/4 local health and disability fitness instructor. Stephen himself is disabled and understands where you may be coming from regarding both physical and mental struggles. Website:

Sheffield Family Support Group

Leaflet: Fun and healthy sports activities for families with children (0-25 years) who have a learning disability

Helping Hands

Leaflet: Supporting and strengthening families with disadvantaged children and young people

All Inc Trampolining

Inclusive trampoline sessions in Sheffield for children and adults with disabilities / special needs
See PDF pages – Trampolining 1 and  Trampolining 2


Sheffield Community Warm Water Integrated Disability Swimming
“We are a small friendly swimming club for children and young people who have a learning and / or a physical difficulty”
See PDF page Swimming

Yoga Classes

See leaflet about yoga classes in Sheffield for Special Needs 10 years+ at St Mary’s Community Centre

IBK Initiatives : Contemporary Dance Classes

For disabled and non-disabled young people aged 11+
See PDF page: Contemporary Dance
BK Initiatives webpage:

Heeley City Farm
“Welcome to Heeley City Farm – a friendly farm and environmental visitor centre in the heart of Sheffield, Heeley, South Yorkshire.
Our Mission Statement: Heeley City Farm identifies, confronts and addresses the problems of poverty, inequality, prejudice and lack of opportunity in our inner city community by supporting and promoting community regeneration and self help within environmentally friendly and self-sustaining systems, using the background of a mini farm, community gardens and related resources.”

Ethel Trust Community Barge
Ethel lead photo“The Ethel Trust Community Barge is a registered charity, serving the communities of South Yorkshire and beyond. Wherever possible, we seek to provide subsidized and even free trips, either as day trips or residential experiences, on our purpose built barge, the Ethel. These trips are provided for the benefit of community groups and organisations, for both young and old, and for people of all abilities and needs. All excursions are staffed by our volunteer skippers and crew.”

Spectrum Theatre, Sheffield

… a theatre group, formed in 2016. Together, its members have a range of experience of the autistic spectrum and of theatre work.
It’s ‘integrated’ – some members are on the spectrum, some aren’t, some are younger, some are older, some very experienced in theatre, some less so.
It’s a charitable organisation – all its members are volunteers.
Our charitable aims are:
– to provide performance arts opportunities for young people and others on the autistic spectrum, as part of integrated groups.
– through performing to a variety of audiences in a variety of venues, to help more and more people understand the spectrum and appreciate the abilities of those on it.

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Local Service providers

Sheffield Recognised Provider Scheme

The Recognised Provider List (RPL) is set up, monitored and updated by Sheffield City Council. If you are an adult in Sheffield who is looking for packages of care and support, you can choose from the list of providers who follow a clear quality framework. The RPL aims to ensure that you receive good quality services from these providers.
In order to gain Recognised Provider status and the RPL quality mark, providers must meet a number of quality standards, including:

-clear agreements with customers
-a welcoming approach to customer comments and complaints
-considerate and respectful conduct of staff and volunteers
-a robust Adult Safeguarding Policy

Adults who purchase care and support services using their own money, or through a Direct Payment, are free to choose providers who are not included on the Recognised Provider List.

If an organisation on the Sheffield Directory is a Recognised Provider you will see the Recognised Provider quality mark logo in their entry a list of services and providers awarded the RPL quality mark can be found on the Sheffield Directory via the following link:

“Reach” Standards for Supported Living

Reach Support for LIVING offers a set of voluntary standards. Originally launched in 2002 and now in their third edition, Reach was created to ensure that supported living focuses on ensuring each person is able to live the life they choose with the same choices, rights and responsibilities as other citizens. The Reach Standards remain the most widely recognised standards across the UK in relation to supported living.


Read the summary version here: Reach-Support-for-LIVING

Autism Plus

“Autism Plus was founded 29 years ago by a group of parents of adult children, all diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition.”

“We are a charity that supports adults and young people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health conditions across Yorkshire and Humber.”

Citizenship First
We are a large, local not for profit organisation specialising in providing high quality, uniquely tailored support to adults with learning disabilities, mental health needs and autism. Our primary aim is to enable you live a full and independent life, our person centred approach ensures your hopes and ambitions are at the heart of everything we do.

“One of the country’s largest not-for-profits supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs”

Yorkshire and Humberside Office
6-8 Churchill House
Meetinghouse Lane
S1 2DP

Phone: 0300 303 9003

Hesley Group

Based in South Yorkshire, a specialist provider for young people and adults with autism and other complex needs.

“Established in 1975, Hesley Group provides flexible, specialist residential services and schools. We aim to offer the best possible care, education and vocational opportunities for young people and adults, often with autism, who have a learning disability and complex needs with behaviour that may challenge.”

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Information about Social Care and Support in England

The social care system as it operates nationally in England is described in “Your guide to care and support” on the NHS Choices website.

See also the National Autistic Society’s pages on Community Care

and Disability Rights UK’s Guide to the Care Act: What you need to know about social care in England.

The King’s Fund What is Social Care and how does it work
“Here we have pulled together a range of content to help explain social care in England, including a series of short videos and related content which is intended to help explain social care in England.”

Care and Support Jargon Buster from ‘Think Local Act Personal’
“The Care and Support Jargon Buster is a plain English guide to the most commonly used health and social care words and phrases and what they mean. The definitions are plain English rather than legal, and were developed and tested by a steering group that included people who use services, carers and other representatives from across the social care sector.”

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Residential support

Home From Home Care

Created by Parents to Make the Difference; Home From Home Care provides specialist residential support to adults (17+) with complex needs, including Autism, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, PMLD and High Vulnerability, to lead happy and fulfilled lives. Parents Paul and Ann de Savary created the service 9 years ago for their daughter Laura when they were unable to find anywhere suitable to cater for Laura’s complex needs as well as providing the support to lead an active life and fulfil her own long term dreams and aspirations.

Download Home from Home Care’s summary of their service

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Private Counselling Services

(Please read again the disclaimer notice at the top of this page)
The following directory lists private counselling services available in the Sheffield area.

You can search by postcode and specialist interest.


National and Worldwide organisations

The National Autistic Society

The National Autistic Society is the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families.
You can register to receive the National Autistic Society’s e-newsletters here.

The National Autistic Society Community
“The Community is here for people on the autism spectrum, their carers and relatives, professionals working around autism and other interested people to share their thoughts and experiences.”

Network Autism

Network Autism is a supportive online community for autism professionals, run by the National Autistic Society.

Act for Autism
Workshops, seminars, coaching, projects, films

Autistic UK and Autscape
Autistic UK is an Autistic People’s Organisation – an organisation run by autistic people and to advance the interests of all autistic people and those with “related neuro-developmental conditions”. It also offers information, support and informal advice to those with a neurological difference.

The details of the Autscape annual conferences organised by and for autistic people are at  Autscape lasts three days in which there are workshops, leisure activities, social opportunities, and more, all specifically oriented to the needs and preferences of autistic people.

Autism Alliance
“We are the major UK network of specialist autism charities.
Together, we support many thousands of people with autism, including more than 2,000 adults in residential homes, and thousands more through our outreach services. We run schools for children with autism, and we train our own staff as well as staff in the public and private sectors. We are on the Autism National Programme Board and are represented on the Advisory Group to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Autism. Collectively, we have the largest concentration of practical autism expertise in the UK.”

Autism Links

Autism Links  is a growing national source of autism information: “there’s lots of support and advice out there to help you make sense of the world of autism. Charities, support groups, and specialist service providers, are all ready to share advice and experience whenever you need it. is dedicated to making those helpful and sometimes vital links, it covers who to talk to, where to go and contains lots of helpful advice all in one place.”
“Our website is constantly growing and improving as we learn about new services and new resources become available. With the help and support we get from parents, carers, professionals and other services providers alike we aim to continue growing and always welcome any feedback as to what we might do to further improve Autismlinks as a valuable resource. Suggestions and feedback can be emailed directly to ourselves via the ‘Help us grow – Suggest a link’ option at the top right of the page.”

Ambitious about Autism
“Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. We provide services, raise awareness and understanding, and campaign for change. Through TreeHouse School and Ambitious College we offer specialist education and support.”

PDA Society

The PDA Society, formerly known as the PDA Contact Group, aims to offer support, advice and information to anyone involved with an individual with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome, whether suspected or diagnosed, child or adult.

Support Dogs

Assistance dogs for children with autism
“Support Dogs is a national charity (Mainland UK) dedicated to increasing independence and quality of life for people with various medical conditions. We provide, train and support specialist assistance dogs to achieve this.” The organisation is based in Sheffield. They provide assistance dogs for autistic children.  

Dogs for Autism

“UK’s first charity exclusively providing Autism Assistance dogs.”
Dogs for Autism provide bespoke assistance dogs who, through a variety of support strategies, enrich and transform the lives of the autistic individuals they are partnered with, and help to mitigate some of the impact autism can have on families.”

For general information, how to apply or to donate to this charity see:

Disability Rights UK
For advice about benefits, independent living, career opportunities and much more.

Benefits and Work
For advice about and guides to claiming benefits: PIP /DLA, ESA etc


CASCAIDr stands for the Centre for Adults’ Social Care – Advice, Information and Dispute Resolution.

They provide free and low cost help for adults seeking to uphold their health and social care rights.

They work “for the sound administration of justice for those who, due to mental ill-health, physical or sensory impairments, deterioration or disability, need care and support to enable them to work, study, stay safe or develop social networks.”

Carers UK

“As the UK’s only national membership charity for carers, Carers UK is both a support network and a movement for change.”


Sense is a national disability charity that supports people with complex communication needs to be understood, connected and valued.
Download their 2018 report on the long-term support of people with disabilities ‘When I’m Gone‘ and their document ‘Decisions-to-make, Steps-to-Take‘.

Family Fund: Helping Families

Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Last year, we provided 89,423 grants or services worth over £36 million to families across the UK.

We believe that all families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people should have the same opportunities as others. Beginning with the most vulnerable, those on low incomes, and considering all conditions against our disability criteria, we aim to make a difference to outcomes for disabled or seriously ill children and young people and the lives of the families raising them across the UK.

We provide grants for a wide range of items, such as washing machines, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing and computers. It can be a struggle financially, emotionally and physically for families raising a disabled or seriously ill child, and these grants help break down many of the barriers families face, improving their quality of life and easing the additional daily pressures.

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

Learn all about Cerebral Palsy and other common birth injuries

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Jewish organisation supporting people with learning disabilities and their families in the UK, plus details of events, news and a noticeboard on which people could offer services, goods and anything helpful to other carers:

Autism research

“Autistica is a charity which both funds and campaigns for medical research to understand the causes of autism, improve diagnosis, and develop new treatments and interventions. Since our founding in late 2004, we have raised over £8.5 million in support of autism research, and become established as the UK’s largest and leading autism research charity.”

The Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
We are a centre dedicated to developing and sharing knowledge about autism and enabling people on the autism spectrum, parents, families and professionals. We provide:

  • a programme of regional and national workshops, talks and lectures
  • research into all aspects of autism
  • accredited courses
  • publications

Luke Beardon’s Blog

Notable Sheffield Hallam University academic and commentator on all things autism, Luke Beardon, writes a blog “Perspectives on Autism”, which you can access here.

And this is a link to Luke’s page on the Hallam University website:

Sheffield Autism Research Lab (ShARL), University of Sheffield
The goal of the Autism Research Lab at Sheffield University is to have a positive impact on the lives of individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and related conditions, via advancements in research. We aim to do this by furthering understanding of the way the brain works and identifying common patterns of behaviour and cognition. We also aim to improve public understanding of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) through research that raises awareness and breaks down barriers experienced by those with ASC.

For an introduction to the ShARL Seminar Series with videos of many of their talks and seminars see here 

and for recordings of the latest talks at the YouTube ShARL channel see here.

Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort – UK

This project is about engaging adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives in research.
At least 1% of adults are on the autism spectrum. However, very little research has been undertaken into the life experiences of adults and older people on the autism spectrum, and how these can be improved.
To address this significant research gap, in January 2015, we began a research programme about the life experiences of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives/carers. This project is being led by Newcastle University researchers, and funded by the research charity Autistica.
To join go to:

Spring 2017 Newsletter can be downloaded here: Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort – UK Newsletter Spring 2017

Autism Spectrum Database – UK

ASD-UK is a UK research family database of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of ASD-UK is to provide accurate data about children with an ASD to facilitate research and give families the opportunity to take part in research studies.

The project is funded by Autistica ( Autistica is a charity that is committed to ensuring that increased understanding and new scientific knowledge will improve the lives of individuals with ASD and their families.

University of Cambridge Autism Research Centre (ARC)

The mission of the Autism Research Centre is to understand the biomedical causes of autism spectrum conditions, and develop new and validated methods for assessment and intervention.

If you think you may be interested in taking part in this research, you can download the flyer here: ARC Flyer Aug2016

See also the News item of 23rd February 2017.

SHAPE Project: University of York
The SHAPE project: mapping and evaluating Specialist Autism Team service models
This project is evaluating Specialist Autism Teams, and investigating their role in supporting autism-specialist practice in mainstream services.

The Centre for Research in Autism and Education

The Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) is a partnership between the Institute of Education, University of London, the leading centre for education and social research in the UK, and Ambitious about Autism, the national charity for children and young people with autism.
Our mission is to help enhance the lives of autistic people and their families. We conduct groundbreaking scientific research to enhance knowledge about interventions, education and outcomes for autistic children, young people and adults.

Diagnosis of Autism

“We are a team of academics at City University London and Goldsmiths University of London, who have been researching experiences of autism diagnosis in the UK.
We know that receiving a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder has a major impact on an individual and their family.
In 2012, we surveyed the autism community (adults, parents and professionals) about their first-hand experiences of receiving or communicating an autism diagnosis. We also conducted in-depth interviews with some of our survey respondents, to find out more about the issues they felt were important.
Browse our site to find out more about our work, as well as links to useful resources on autism diagnosis.
Why the Wait? Report into the diagnosis of autism – Dr Laura Crane and Prof Elisabeth Hill look at the evidence behind the National Autistic Society’s ‘Autism Diagnosis Crisis’ campaign. Why are autistic people and their families waiting years for an autism diagnosis? And what other issues urgently need to be addressed in this area?”

Research Autism

Research Autism is the only UK charity exclusively dedicated to research into interventions in autism.

Autism Research Institute, USA

The Autism Research Institute (ARI) is the hub of a worldwide network of parents and professionals concerned with autism.

Links on Parenting Autistic children

The following links were kindly provided by Jenny Wise, a parent of autistic children, who runs her own website and blog at

These are American, but nonetheless helpful for that:

How to Help Your Child with Autism Overcome Picky Eating

The Ultimate Guide to Improving Sleep in Autistic Children

How to Help Your Child with Autism Cope During and After a Move

20 Tips for Keeping Your Child with Special Needs Safe in Your Home

Banishing the Babysitting Blues

Autism and Sleep

Sleep is such an important issue affecting health and daily living for autistic people, both children and adults. Here are two sources of information and advice with lots of links to further articles covering many aspects of this topic:

Links on nutrition and autism/Asperger syndrome

These links were provided by Sophie Leicester, following her talk in Nov 2013.

Nutrition in Sheffield

Food and Behaviour Research

Alex Richardson – research nutrition and mental health (video)

Angelette Muller – Simple dietary interventions in autism (video)

Sue Simmons – Nutritional supplementation, where to start (video)

All the videos from the Treating Autism Conference

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Links to the videos of Jackie McMillan

These links were provided by Sophie Leicester, following her talk in Nov 2013.

Jackie McMillan is an autistic, an autism mentor and educator, and an autism recovery guide.

Jackie McMillan – The Five Root Causes of Autism (video)

Jackie McMillan – Thrive with Autism (video)

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Links to other resources on the internet

Communicating with an Autistic Child: A Parent’s Guide

This is a section on the Wise Old Saying website. It contains lots of links to other resources on the internet.

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