AUTISTICA is a research institution, rather than an ASD support line but they produce some very useful material, such as this leaflet around ASD and mental health (click to download) website
We are not a specialist ASD setting, however we have had great success transitioning students to specialist ASD settings and have also had great success with supporting students who transition to us from ASD settings where they were not coping due to additional specific mental health needs. We also increasingly work with young people who recieved their diagnosis very late and are feeling scarred by not knowing why they were having difficulties for so long.
We are not able to provide the structure and stability that mid-range ASD students require. We are able to work with high functioning students who have ASD and also have high intellectual capacities. These students often experience a higher level of anxiety than is standard within ASD because they can see that they have difficulties especially with social communication and this frustrates them as they are also aware that they are very able academically so should in their view be able to 'solve' the issue. This paradox can lead to depression and low self-esteem.
We do not support such students by removing the sources of anxiety, rather we work very openly with them on understanding why other people behave the way they do and by supporting them with ways to cope with change. We do this gradually - for example we may start by using strategies such as a work station and visual timetable which they are used to, but we quickly move towards rationalising therapies to support the student in being able to sit at any table and to cope with a more flexible timetable. This approach is very important as many of these students have the academic ability to attend college and do very well - their social and anxiety needs are presenting the barrier to this.
We have successfully transitioned ASD students meeting this profile on to local mainstream college placements including Guildford and Woking colleges.
SOURCES OF HELP
These services are not associated with us. We are not responsible for the quality of service they provide, we are recommending them based on the positive experiences of some young people known to us. By inclusion in this list nor are we suggesting that we are in any way affiliated with these servcies.
ANXIETY UK - Support, online counselling, magazine, advice
Text line: 07537416905
Info line: 03444775774
Website provides support for young people, professionals and parents. Young people who feel they are having a mental health crisis can get instant emergency support by texting YM to 85258
OCD UK - advice, online counselling, support and magazine. Dedicated youth services.
PAPYRUS - suicide prevention young people's hotline 0800 068 41 41
An eating disorder support service - smaller than some of the bigger associations, but specifically aimed at young people.