Autistic Society Greater Manchester Area have a full week of parties next week to help those with autism at Christmas time.
ASGMA was formed in 1968 when Manchester teachers, Roger and Betty Delahunty realised the importance of supporting parents and carers of people with autism.
The Charity runs all year round, and provides a range of activities from bowling, to laser quest, and castle walks.
Charity worker, Paul Nugent, has already planned for the rest of the year and all of the following year:
“I’ve planned all my activities, and this comes from experience because we have got to know the loud, crowded places that don’t suit our team. So we now know not to go to certain places at certain times of the year. For example, we would never go to Alton Towers in the summer.
We know our people don’t like crowded places so it’s about creating an atmosphere that suits them.”
The charity caters for anyone of any age with Asperger Syndrome, and Higher Functioning Autism.
Consisting of 33 members of staff and volunteers; Autistic Society Greater Manchester Area is split into two groups, 10-18 youth group and an 18+ group.
This year they have many festivities in store, Aladdin in the pantomime, Christmas parties, Christmas dinners and Christmas films:
“Next week is party time, with the 18+ group I have booked lunch in a nice quiet pub in Lymm so we will go for a lovely long walk and then for lunch.”
Many people with autism will experience anxiety, ASGMA do everything they can to support this: “We are entirely set up to people’s socials skills and you can only do that within a group setting.
Our charity only focuses on those with autism and asperger so that they feel completely comfortable and at home when they are here.”
A little tip from Paul for carers of autism at Christmas time is:
“Christmas can be a stressful time for our young people, not only the change of routine but new foods and smells. Lots of family and friends visiting, expectations of socialising, scary stuff!
“So if you do notice a change in behaviour or mood maybe reassurance is needed,
“if you socialise for an hour you can retreat back to your room, desensitise, chill out.
And try and keep things as normal as possible.”
The charity based in Stretford covers Rochdale, Bolton, Oldham, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
For more information visit: http://www.autism.org.uk/