Autism Parents Together (Tees Valley), is a charity that was originally established as a parent support group in 2018. The charity aims to provide support to children diagnosed or undergoing assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We cater for children and young people between the ages of 0-18 years old and their parents/carers and immediate family.
The main goal of the charity is to reduce the social exclusion of people with ASD, by creating exclusive, parent supported, activities to allow the children/young people to participate in activities that they would otherwise be unable to access and meet others with similar experiences. We also arrange for activities for siblings and parents/carers, affording them similar opportunities to take part in activities and meet others.
The average cost of an activity is between £3 – £5 and in some instances can be paid for using your Short Breaks grant. We also support parents/carers by running a private Facebook group (subject to entry requirements being met), allowing parents/carers to share experiences, seek advice and support others.
Kate Alewood (above) was invited to join Autism Parents Together originally as a member through Facebook.
Straight away there was quite a few people that she knew and recognised.
“Autism Parents Together is being about supporting one another and sharing advice, sharing information and ideas, and that’s been really good, just been able to have that information on your phone to hand and share ideas”.
“Our family have attended quite a lot of events since Autism Parents Together started. We have been too Soft Plays, Airtrail at Tees Barrage, & Go Climb at Billingham Forum. The whole family can go, and it means you don’t have to worry about the siblings & they enjoy it too.”
“One of the favourite events that George likes attending is the Belong Room at Game (Teesside Park) with his friends playing computer games, he absolutely loves it, it’s a really good event & my husband Craig enjoys it also”. (Craig Alewood also runs Autism Dads Group).
“One thing that I really like about attending the children’s events is that it feels really familiar, you turn up and everyone starts arriving and you know the other members and their children, and you feel so relaxed, it just feels like you’re with Family. Its familiar and predictable, our son George is an unpredictable person and it’s just comfortable to know that your in a familiar crowd of other people.
“Been in a mainstream place surrounded by other autism parents your just completely relaxed and its reassuring”.
Autism Parents Together Tees Valley also run events for the parents.
“I had a lovely day at Rockcliffe Hall Spa and my husband Craig went Go Carting at Portrack, we both had a really good time.
One of the highlights for me so far has been the eighties night, it was a good night. We had good fun with lots of friends and just good times, we just all really let our hair down and we had a fabulous time, it was brilliant.
“I think fundraising is especially important to keep this charity going. Back in July my Mother-in-Law, Father & Daughter Ellie walked from Saltburn to Staithes and back, it was about 18 miles and it rained, but we raised a lot of money for the charity.
Kate became a trustee for the charity in February 2020
Autism Parents Together – Tees ValleyCharity Registration No. 118349