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.
I don't subscribe to the NAS in any way at all, but I do use the forum and have to say , I am greatful for this, maybe if the magazine was better advertised and had better content I would subscribe. All I can say is it sounds like things need to change and if they did we would all be better off and the NAS would get more financial support.
The NAS already gets millions of pounds of money from the government although almost all of it is ringfenced for specific individuals.
I would rather give my money to an independent ASD support group than the NAS because I believe that they will use it more productively and effectively than the NAS will.
There are times when I think that the charity part of the NAS exists only so they can legally call themselves a charity. An annoying feature (to their officials) analogous to the way that ITV has annoying PSB commitments (to their officials) that make no money simply in order to get the prestige of TV channel 3.