NAS Plymouth Branch

 A branch of the National Autistic Society


What is autism?


Autism is a lifelong, developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.


This section explains some of the different names for autism and related conditions, and provides information about gender, discussions about causes and current research.


How common is autism?

Autism is much more common than most people think. There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK - that's more than 1 in 100. People from all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can be autistic, although it appears to affect more men than women.


How do autistic people see the world?

Some autistic people say the world feels overwhelming and this can cause them considerable anxiety.


In particular, understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family, school, work and social life, can be harder. Other people appear to know, intuitively, how to communicate and interact with each other, yet can also struggle to build rapport with autistic people. Autistic people may wonder why they are 'different' and feel their social differences mean people don't understand them.


Autistic people often do not 'look' disabled. Some parents of autistic children say that other people simply think their child is naughty, while adults find that they are misunderstood. We are educating the public about autism through our Too Much Information campaign.



A diagnosis is the formal identification of autism, usually by a multi-disciplinary diagnostic team, often including a speech and language therapist, paediatrician, psychiatrist and/or psychologist.


The benefits of a diagnosis

Getting a timely and thorough assessment and diagnosis may be helpful because:


it helps autistic people (and their families, partners, employers, colleagues, teachers and friends) to understand why they may experience certain difficulties and what they can do about them

it allows people to access services and support.

Find out more about diagnosis and how to get one.


How autism is diagnosed

The characteristics of autism vary from one person to another, but in order for a diagnosis to be made, a person will usually be assessed as having had persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests since early childhood, to the extent that these "limit and impair everyday functioning".




Persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction


Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Many have a very literal understanding of language, and think people always mean exactly what they say.


They may find it difficult to use or understand:

facial expressions

tone of voice

jokes and sarcasm.


Some may not speak, or have fairly limited speech. They will often understand more of what other people say to them than they are able to express, yet may struggle with vagueness or abstract concepts. Some autistic people benefit from using, or prefer to use, alternative means of communication, such as sign language or visual symbols. Some are able to communicate very effectively without speech.


Others have good language skills, but they may still find it hard to understand the expectations of others within conversations, perhaps repeating what the other person has just said (this is called echolalia) or talking at length about their own interests.


It often helps to speak in a clear, consistent way and to give autistic people time to process what has been said to them.


To find out more please head to our NAS main website 






The new NAS Campaign

'Too Much Information' is just starting its second year. Check out the main NAS website for more information.

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From the Pathological Demand Avoidance Society (PDA is part of the autism spectrum): A WORKSHOP IN ST AUSTELL ON 25TH JULY


The PDA Society will be running a half day workshop for parents, caters and other interested people in St Austell this summer. We have successfully run these sessions throughout the UK over the last year and feedback has been excellent.



We consciously wanted to run a session in Cornwall as we have had several requests for one; practical logistics meant the only time we could run it was in the summer (one of our facilitators is giving up some of their holiday to run it!).



We have recently run this same session for NAS Swansea and it went so well they have asked us back later in the year.



All details are on this link:



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E.G.M Follow up news


We have some positive news for you and can be more confident about the future of the branch.


Following the EGM which was held on Wednesday July 5th we are pleased to welcome new committee members, and are delighted some established committee members have decided to remain on the committee. This provides us with people with experience and people with new ideas.


Susie Seviour, was voted in as branch chair, and is delighted to be working together with Tigger Pritchard who was voted in as vice chair.

Susie has a family member with autism and both she and Tigger have many years of experience working in t



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27TH AUGUST 2017






Following the sucess of last years event, we are delighted to announce the Autism Awareness Fun Day 2017.

This years event will be held at the Falmouth Rugby Football Club and promises to be bigger and better than last year.


We raised £1,200 last year for the National Austistic Society West Cornwall Branch and we are hoping to smash that target this year, with funds, again, being donated to the National Autistic Society West Cornwall Branch and PDA Cornwall


The event will include lots of things to do for the whole family including tombola, raffle, bouncy castles, sports competitions, art competition and fun dog show.


If you would like to get involved in this years fun day by having a stall, donating raffle prizes or being a steward on the day please get in touch via Autism Awareness Events Cornwall Facebook Page.


Looking forward to seeing you there




Some of the committee have been out and about in Truro to provide information to businesses about the Autism Hour in October.

We were delighted with the posiitive response to the National Campaign.

As a branch we will be supporting the campaign to raise awareness of Autism.

If you would like further information on how your business or a business you know can particpate please go to:




autism hour autism hour


The Branch AGM took place in September.

Thank you to the members who attended.

It was a positive meeting and the branch has the start of an evolving and progressive action plan to support the people with Autism and their families in Cornwall.

The branch voted in Susie Seviour as Branch Chair and Tim Owen as Branch Treasurer.

The committee are meeting regularly to continue to monitor plans to support the branch to achieve the outcomes:

If you are interested in becoming a committee member or volunteer please contact us.

Action plan:

1. Branch name change from West Cornwall NAS to NAS Cornwall - Achieved

2. Branch email address to change to NAS Cornwall - Achieved

3. Update website and add a resource page to inform people of other available resources - continually evolving

4. Set up Twitter - Achieved

5. Set up Facebook page - Achieved

6. Drop in sessions to commence 2018

7. Fundraising events to commence to raise awareness of Autism - Event held by Scoobybits Subaru in December 2017

As you can see we have achieved many of our action points and continue to update our objectives for 2018, to be able to support you.

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Autism the positives