I have thought hard about this and have decided not to renew this years subscription for the following reasons:
1) Mendip House. The abuse at a NAS care home has been described as on a par with that at Winterbourne View. Despite the CQC giving NAS a fine, I am still deeply uneasy about it. Especially, as I may need to assisted living/care in the future.
It also raises questions whether charities should arranged care services.
2) NAS seems more tilted towards neurotypicals than those with ASC.
For example Your Autism magazine, if indeed it arrives, is aimed at a NT’s. I have not found one useful piece of info or help for those actually on the Spectrum. For their families and carers yes, not for me though.
The helpline has never answered a call I ever made. And I made quite a few. The online service was poor at best.
The Spectrum magazine is meh.
The forum is ok, but I only use it now infrequently.
I have yet to use the social group service, mainly as it is 20 miles away at best. 40 miles round trip.
3) NAS seems to want to promote itself rather than us. Oh look it’s our birthday, let’s sign up a celeb. But what really bought this home was the All party group on autism. I believe arranged by NAS. On their birthday do they want us to give evidence to the committee? No. Just experts. Can we watch? Well there is very little room so book early.
So I am sorry. I won’t renew my membership.
Haha! Sorry about that. I was trying to log into my account (haven't done so in a while) and before I knew it I had posted that 'h'!
Anyway - I was considering becoming an NAS member a few months back, and in particular because I wondered if the Your Autism magazine would be at all useful to me (female, diagnosed as an adult). Money is not exactly flowing so I have to consider a subscription carefully. But I did wonder whether the magazine was at least created in part by autistic individuals and targeted at least in part to autistic individuals, so your post piqued my interest.
If what you're saying is true then I am disappointed, though not surprised. I must admit to knowing next to nothing about the magazine, so my ignorance may be showing here, but it would be wonderful if the magazine pledged to publish, say, at least one article per issue written by someone on the autism spectrum (with an emphasis on first-time authors to help elevate those on the spectrum wishing to break into journalism/publishing/blogging in some way). It would also be awesome if they were to pledge to recruit autistic people so that a certain minimum number of their staff (editorial assistants, graphic and layout designers, etc.) are on the autism spectrum. I think this is important not only to provide much-needed opportunities to autistic individuals, but also ensure that the publication demonstrates that it is an active and direct voice for those on the autism spectrum. I think if the magazine were to adopt these ideas (and, as I said, I have no idea if they do already!) then it would really encourage me, as an autistic individual, to subscribe. I freelance as an editor and would really want to financially support any enterprise that aims to get behind promoting new autistic voices and talent. But if the magazine does not adopt these ideas already, hopefully they will consider them in the future.
I am quite new here and have wondered about the subscription and magazines. I always wonder if paper/posting these things is so 20th century.
Those of us with a technical ability could help, as volunteers, to build some useful NAS wiki/database (maybe with some help from those more technical) that everyone could reference.
With a focal point for each area, the articles could be easily managed including links to other Internet information. This could also build readers into requested editors/creators of the useful information.
What do others think - Autism/Aspergers/etc articles/information by those who have Neuro Divers understanding/experience?
I often wonder if a new group/charity, specifically for those with ASC.
Greetings, though I cannot guarantee to always be here. This is a good Thread so far. I used to be a contributor to AspergersUnited/TheSpectrum. (AUTS). This IS still a GOOD magazine. Thin, though. I still seek it out, for it is the Paper equivalent of this Forum...
When a person is diagnosed, it seems (or used to be?) that they were referred to NAS straightaway. But NAS is known for supporting Children over Adults... but known only after joining NAS as an Autistic Adult.
I too am also an "Ex-NAS Member." AUTS is the best reason for having anything to do with NAS. They also used to send out an "Autism Alert" Ticket-Wallet once a person joined NAS.
But nowadays they neither Post AUTS nor send out the "Autism Alert" Thing... I agree that "Your Autism" is just a great and colourful advert for 'the caring with people - children! - with Autism'!
Hopefully posting here will get some attention from NAS. (-- Please NAS, give out AUTS to Members again...?! --) I have seen a lot of complaints about "Your Autism" Magazine in this Forum, but NAS does not seem to care. Insofar as doing one Magazine 'Advertising NAS', and another one for the people which NAS actually exists for (Us!), then that would be "Your Autism" and "The Spectrum" (AUTS) respectively. AUTS is worth the subscription... but "Your Autism" is not much more than a lot of smiling happy children and adults with children.
...As I say here, it is a quarterly equivalent of this Forum! It is for those who totally cannot use the Internet --- I agree with you, "Creek", but I am always close to being one of those people...! This is why I like The Spectum Magazine and agree with the complaints about "Your Autism".
...Whatever happens, Thanks for this Thread and for giving Myself a bit of an outlet in order to "vent" all of that. Apologies if necessary, certainly, and Good Fortune to You.
To Eccentric1... Sorry I posted my general "Vent" at you! I agree with what you say, with attempting to link Quarterly Paper things with this Instant-Net. I would suggest writing to "The Spectrum" about it, more than asking "Your Autism". I considered doing such things myself, but I cannot guarantee to always be here. (My devices are old and not getting younger.)
As I said in my longer vent, "The Spectrum" would care MORE about this than "Your Autism" would, and so write to them. (Or EMail...which I myself cannot do -!!!)
I think that if a group of people with enough expertise and experience would have the will to come together and make something like that happen, it would be very energising for the autistic community. Starting and running a successful charity is such hard work, and to a certain extent I think all charities - even the great, big ones like the NAS - run on something of a wing and a prayer. They need as many people backing them as possible. Which is why, if a charity ran by and for autistic people were to ever be created and become a success, I think the NAS would have missed a big opportunity to modernise and add more diverse voices to their cause. What a shame for the NAS if the very people they are trying to help turn away from them because they don't feel represented.
I think that the Spectrum magazine is fantastic and clearly a lot of hard work, dedication and passion goes into its production, both from the contributors and the editors. It serves a very particular purpose and in that respect it is a complete success. But if autistic voices are not regularly included in the Your Autism magazine, then I think this omission introduces an unintentional and undesirable segregation of perspectives. Autistic perspectives deserve to be heard directly and by as wide an audience as possible. I do also think the NAS are trying to modernise to this effect and shed their outmoded image of a 'helper' charity. (Note the logo change last year, removing the old logo of a carer and a dependent and replacing it with a colourful letter a.)
I do understand that parents and carers are most probably the overwhelming demographic for the Your Autism magazine, and its traditional demographic too. But, if I were publishing the magazine, I would consider this: each and every one of those parents most certainly has dreams and aspirations for their child. They want their child to grow up and become an adult whose talents - not just their disability - are recognised, who is given opportunities, who is given a voice, who is believed in and valued. What better way to show that this future is possible than to give a platform in the magazine to autistic adults?
The NAS is heavily biased towards parents and carers. There is very little input from adults with ASD when it comes to developing strategies and advice for children with ASD and their parents. Adults with ASD offer a wealth of knowledge for the next generation and the NAS is choosing to ignore this rather than capitalise on it. IMO this is one of the biggest defects of the NAS.
even the great, big ones like the NAS - run on something of a wing and a prayer. They need as many people backing them as possible. Which is why, if a charity ran by and for autistic people were to ever be created and become a success, I think the NAS would have missed a big opportunity to modernise and add more diverse voices to their cause.
Nearly 90% of the income for the NAS comes from the government and it is ringfenced for specific people and specific purposes - usually NAS schools or residential care services for individuals on the more extreme end of the traditional autism spectrum. In other words, the NAS is a government service provider and the charity part is only a small peripheral element of the organisation.
The inertia of this financial situation is why the NAS is unlikely to change. They are very effective at chasing public money and providing services on behalf of local authorities but are not very good at being a charity in the traditional sense.
I've recently become an NAS member and am giving it a trial run for a year or so. Now I'm thinking I should have subscribed to Spectrum rather than Your Autism. Not sure why it's separate. I'd have ticked the box and paid a top up fee to throw in Spectrum too if I'd realised.