Eastleigh MP, Mims Davies, joined local parents of Eastleigh SOS at their monthly meeting at Wells Place. SOS Eastleigh is a self-help group supporting autistic people and their families. They aim to promote understanding of autism and neurodiversity offering support to anyone affected by autism. The parent led group has been running in its current format for 7 years and welcomes all ages.
Meeting on the 3rd Friday of every month at Wells Place Coffee Shop no referral is necessary and new members often come by word of mouth as well as professional signposting to the group.
Spokeswoman, Debbie Bourne, said:
‘We’re a small, friendly group. Our meetings are informal and are just like friends meeting for coffee and a chat. Between us we have lots of experiences of diagnosis, overcoming difficulties, getting appropriate help at school and where to get help from other organisations including applying for Child Disability Living Allowance.’
‘People are welcome to attend with or without a diagnosis. Diagnosis can be a long and difficult process so people need as much support as they can get during this time. We are positive about autism and want everyone else to be too!’
Eastleigh MP, Mims Davies said:
‘I was pleased to meet with Debbie and Eastleigh SOS to better understand the personal challenges that they face as parents supporting their children with autism. Around 1% of the population is on the autistic spectrum and when family members are included this amounts to nearly 3 million people affected by autism in the UK. Eastleigh SOS, as an independent self-help group, represent all that is positive about communities coming together to focus and work together. I was pleased to assist with some of their challenges with the local ‘system’ and agreed to work together to try to make family life easier by working with support services and feeding into the government so that they can focus on looking after their youngsters.’