Important petition to help low income families of disabled children. Please sign

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs refuses to pay tax credits owed to low income families of disabled children.

Please sign the petition to get this ruling overturned at  (

Please circulate the petition to your networks.

Since 2011 28000 low income families who are caring for a disabled child have been underpaid by HMRC  by up to £4400 per year for those whose children have profound and multiple impairments. This is because of an error in the system so that DWP did not inform HMRC that the families were entitled to Disability Living Allowance. As a result each year the families received less than their entitlement. Now aware of the error HMRC will pay the families what they are owed for 2016-17 but they will not do so for previous years. HMRC argues that it was the responsibility of parents and carers to check that they were receiving the correct amount.

There is no legal barrier to HMRC paying these families what they are owed. The decision to deny them is a policy one and illustrates the disconnect between how Government departments imagine the lives of families of disabled children and how these are actually lived. Some families will have lost approximately £20000. To senior government officials this may not seem a terrific amount but to low income families with disabled children this is a transformative fortune. It is therefore vital that we get this decision overturned and the monies owed paid to these families in full.

The Autism Centre’s Nick Hodge has started this petition to request that Edward Timpson as Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families intervenes

 BBC report on this issue is at


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Check out the new website for Sheffield Autistic Society

Sheffield Autistic Society have a great new website with some useful local and national information. Check it out at

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Free showing of ‘Arrival’ for Film Night of the Adult Asperger Group this Thursday 17 November.

Please note that this is not an Autism Centre event

Message from Liz Friend – contact Liz if you need more information at

Hi All

You are all very welcome to come along to our next Film Night of the Adult Asperger Group this Thursday 17 November.

The film, Arrival, starts at 6pm so please can we meet in the foyer (inside entrance to the cinema) at 5.45.  The Asperger Group will pay for the tickets and you can buy snacks and popcorn if you wish.

  • Thursday 17 November
  • Showroom Cinema
  • Meet at 5.45pm

I hope the film choice is a good one – I like the sound of it anyhow being a sci fi fan!  The description of the film is below.


They have arrived. Vast alien spacecraft touch down across the world, silent monoliths containing unknown inhabitants. Why are they here, and what do they want? It’s up to expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to attempt communication, translation and salvation on behalf of Planet Earth. Will she bring us closer to mutual understanding, or simply closer to total annihilation? What follows is almost impossible to explain or comprehend, but will tilt your worldview ever so slightly and overwhelm you with the enormity of the universe. Forget lasers, guns and Area 51 – this is a highly intelligent and curious film, with breathtaking cinematography.

Look forward to seeing you on Thursday if you can make it.  If not then the next meeting of the Group at Sheffield Hallam University is on Thursday 24 November at 7pm.  I’ll be sending the details out next week.

Best wishes


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Can anyone help with work experience for a year 10 autistic student?

Work experience for year 10 autistic student

Can anyone help out one of one the Autism Centre’s former MA Autism Spectrum students? Her 14 year old son, who has autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia needs a work placement 10-20 July 2017 and she is unable to find anywhere suitable, prepared to take him. He attends a mainstream school with support.

He is very interested in computers and this is an area of strength for him. He could not work in a highly sensory (like clattering workshop), highly social (like retail) or bustling environment.

He is a very likeable and amenable young man, who is willing to try hard. The school will provide a teaching assistant to be with him and the placement needs to be Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, Worksop area. This may suit someone with a genuine interest in autistic people who is prepared to spend time being kind and getting to know the boy.

For more information, call Diane on 07860 509755 or email


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Autism in the Cinema: Free Event, Today, Sheffield Hallam University

Today The Autism Centre hosts an exciting event as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.

Exploring autism in the cinema

Location: The Void Cinema, Floor 1, Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University Date: 5 November 2016 Time: 11:00 – 13:00

Film plays a very significant role in shaping how we understand and respond to autism. Representations of autism on TV and in the cinema get everyone talking.

From Elvis to The A Word, Hannah Ebben, a PhD student at The Autism Centre, will explore with the audience her research on the different ways in which autism has been conceptualised and represented in film, and together we will consider the impact of these images on the lives of people who identify as autistic and their families. Sheffield has a committed autism community, and this event will provide Hannah with an opportunity to introduce her research to them.

The event will take place in Sheffield Hallam’s own cinema, The Void, to introduce a new audience to this little-known gem. After Hannah’s presentation, Professor Nick Hodge will facilitate an audience discussion on the issues raised.

The Void Cinema is located at Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Owen Building (, Level 1.  The easiest way to get there is via the main lift lobby in the Owen building.

For more information contact:

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Petition to double the number of autistic people in work

The National Autistic Society is  calling on the Government to take decisive action to double the number of autistic people in work. If you wish to sign the petition you can find it at


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Free digital creativity workshops in Sheffield for people with autism

Please note that this is not an Autism Centre event

A polite reminder that Access Space’s digital creativity workshops for people with autistic spectrum disorders begins on Friday. There are two spare places left if you wish to book. The workshops are FREE. They will be with a small, supportive group. The workshops are fortnightly, on Fridays, from 11am-1pm.

The dates are:- 4 Nov 2016 18 Nov 2016 2 Dec 2016 16 Dec 2016 6 Jan 2017.

The workshops will start with talking about designing, then lead on to use of laser cutting (with careful support) to make things in paper, wood or plastic. Everyone will have different levels of ability, but we will make sure all get some enjoyment and create something, in a very gentle and supportive atmosphere. They will be run by people experienced in both this type of work and with people with ASD. They are based on Access Space previous activities, and the fact that many people with autism and learning disabilities can excel in creative thinking – see:

It will be best if participants can attend all sessions, but of course we accept that this may not be possible for everyone. Please note that it will be necessary for participants to have some experience with computers. This does not have to be high level, but at least basic familiarity with keyboard/mouse. We look forward to hearing from you if you or anyone you know may be interested.

To apply for a place, please send by email the following details: (We will then confirm the place, dependent on numbers). Name Address Email / Telephoneof participant AND (if applicable) carer/parent/friend

Will carer/parent/friend be accompanying?

Brief details of participants’ abilities and any sensory issues.

If you prefer to discuss this, or even visit our centre before deciding on the course, please do get in touch: Jonathan Cook Tel: 0114 2495522 (Best time to call is Wed/Thur, or leave a message)

Access Space, Unit 1, AVEC Building, 3-7 Sidney St. Sheffield S1 4RG Web:     Facebook: UK Registered Charity No. 1103837

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