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Jo regains independence thanks to Tameside Autism Service

Press Release: 20/05/2019

 

Jo FidlowA mum of two has found her freedom after receiving support and advice from Tameside Autism Service.

 

Jo Findlow, 47, from Stalybridge, used to struggle to get out and about because she would have a sensory overload while outdoors.

 

But she says this all changed after she contacted the autism service five years, was diagnosed with the condition and started to receive support.

 

Jo is now backing the council’s  Autism Friendly Tameside campaign to help raise awareness that the borough is an inclusive place for people with autism and that support is available.

 

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how someone communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. Anyone who thinks they may have the condition can self-refer to the Tameside Autism Service where they can seek a diagnosis if appropriate.

 

Support available includes diagnosis, the chance to meet other people with autism and a parents’ and carers’ support group. Tameside Autism Service support workers can also meet employers to discuss what reasonable adjustments can be made to support the individual in the working environment.

 

Jo now helps Tameside Autism Service deliver autism friendly training sessions to help people better understand the condition. This training is being delivered at locations including GP practices, A&E, mental health services, social care services and local shopping centres to improve accessibility for people with autism.

 

Jo explained why she was keen to share her experience to help others: “I have always struggled being different and not fitting in with others, having issues wherever I worked. But I’ve learned to realise I am not like non-autistics and it’s ok to be different and only do what I can do.”

 

She encouraged others to seek support: “Don’t be scared to refer yourself, like me you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

 

Tameside Council has started to introduce autism-friendly spaces across the borough, starting with Tameside One in Ashton. Individuals who are having a sensory overload in buildings involved in the scheme can request a set of ear defenders, ear plugs and sunglasses. The autism friendly spaces scheme is now expanding across the borough and is being adapted by GP practices and Tameside Hospital’s Accident and Emergency unit.

 

Cllr Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council, said: “We’re doing some fantastic work at the moment to support individuals with autism in the borough. By the end of the year more buildings in Tameside should be autism friendly and we’ll have held a considerable number of autism friendly training sessions. This will prove to be the most valuable as individuals with the condition will feel supported when they use our local services.”

 

For more information or to find out about local support please call 0161 304 5860 or visit www.tameside.gov.uk/autism

 

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