Support for Local Groups
If you'd like to set up a group in your area or become involved with supporting this project in another way please read more below and either fill in our interest form or email us to chat through options.
Online Local Groups
APUK have regional groups set up on our discord server.
If there are more than 3 people in a specific area, APUK will support you to set up a subgroup if requested.
If there are more than 10 people in a regional subgroup, APUK can support with the set up of a face-to-face group.
Training & CPD
We will be offering all group facilitators and co-facilitators in-house training on facilitation skills to support group setup and maintenance.
There will be regular continued professional development (CPD) opportunities. Including offering a book (hard copy or audio) by Dr Luke Beardon.
Mentoring & Supervision
Each local group will have a mentor for regular one to one supervision.
APUK will also facilitate regular online supervision sessions for group facilitators, to share ideas and receive support from their peers.
The APUK team use Slack messaging system which all facilitators will be invited to join.
APUK will be supporting local groups to build a resource library for volunteers and members to access.
This will also include hard copies of Autistic Parents UK resources and access to all of our online resources.
We also hope to facilitate of a book exchange between our local members.
Our Local Groups
Autistic Parents UK is in the process of reviewing our volunteer onboarding procedure and revising our policies and code of conduct, which we're hoping to have ready for publishing early in the new year. If you are interested in facilitating a local group we can add your name to our list of those interested in volunteering, and contact you when we are ready to recommence onboarding. You are also welcome to suggest your local area as a channel on our discord server, we will send you details on how to join if you register your interest or you can contact us directly. Many thanks for your patience while we finalise these essential policies and processes, we appreciate your kind support.
Who are Autistic Parents UK and what do you do?Autistic Parents UK (APUK), is a user-led non-profit organisation aiming to build support for Autistic parents (parents who are Autistic themselves) in the UK. Parenthood can be an amazing yet challenging time for all, but Autistic people may experience specific challenges and often lack effective support from family, friends and professionals. APUK was set up by a group of Autistic parents in the West Midlands area, who felt a gap in support available for both Autistic adults and parents. After months of planning, the organisation officially formed in November 2020. As APUK is in the early stages of development, we are trialling a number of different methods of supporting and facilitating mutual peer support connections. We work reflectively and flexibly with our members to move towards being inclusive of the needs of all individuals in the community we build together. As well as facilitating a peer support network, APUK is committed to supporting Autistic parents in a number of ways, including: - regular blog articles, from Autistic parents sharing lived experience - monthly webinars with well-known Autistic Advocates - free-to-access training for parents (such as perinatal education and approaches to parenthood workshops) - training and supervision for professionals - monthly giveaways to increase accessibility to literature and support relevant to Autistic parents
Do you support parents of Autistic children?Yes, if the parents are also Autistic themselves. We support all Autistic parents regardless of their children's neurotype.
What is Autistic Parents UK's view on Autism?Autistic Parents UK supports the Neurodiversity paradigm, and positive Autistic identity through the lens of the social model of disability. This does not mean that we don't understand the negative experiences that many Autistic people go through (ourselves included). We are happy for people at any stage in their learning of Autism to join us and we are happy to share reputable resources to support increased accurate knowledge of Autism. At Autistic Parents UK groups we use identity-first language, and we don’t discuss cause or cure. Autism is referred as such within our groups, to Autistic Parents UK Autism is a neurology (neurotype), not a disorder or condition. Self-identification is valid for our groups.
Do you offer therapy?No, we don't. Autistic Parents UK is a mutual peer-support organisation. Everyone involved with Autistic Parents UK is an Autistic parent themselves and there is no hierarchy within our groups. Autistic Parents UK does not facilitate therapy groups, no person involved in the mutual peer support groups we run is doing so as a trained professional. If you feel like you need professional support we can signpost you and other members may be able to share their experiences around this. Autistic Parents UK does not provide crisis support. If you are in need of crisis support will signpost you to an appropriate support organisation, please call 999 in an emergency.
I would like to join one of your webinars, how do get a free members ticket?"You may select a free members ticket on our eventbrite listings. Membership includes: Being a member of our Autistic parents (parents who are Autistic) only Facebook group. Being an Autistic parent living in the UK (tickets will be confirmed after contact is made with us by email or on our contact page).
What are your group rules and guidelines?We know that rules aren't always well received but in order to keep our group safe for all members we have some basic rules; each has been well thought out and has a valid rationale behind it. We are happy to chat with you about this further if you'd like, feel free to drop us an email. We aim to keep all of our groups a safe place for all and support the development of trust and enable us to share our thoughts and feelings with each other. Each individual group facilitated by Autistic Parents UK will be invited to add to or challenge any of the rules or guidelines. You can view the guidelines in full here and our policies and procedures here.
How do you protect my information?Autistic Parents UK only collects necessary information to ensure the safety of our groups and to evaluate the peer support offerings in order to develop and make changes. All your information is securely stored in online cloud storage that is password protected. You can access our policies here for more information.
Do you share research requests?We only publicise research that is in line with our ethos and in the best interest of our community. Go to our research request page to find our more.