Community rules

(Updated February 2020)

Our Community is designed to be a safe and welcoming place for those that use and visit it for support and information about autism.

By joining the Community you agree to be bound by the following rules:

  1. Only those aged over 16 are permitted to join the community. If you are under 16 please use other services, such as the ones in the Autism Services Directory
  2. This Community forum is public, so do not post personal or identifying details. This includes, but is not limited to, full names, addresses, contact details, social media, or photographs of yourself. (updated February 2020)
  3. Content must not be obscene, defamatory or libellous. Please do not use the forum to identify other individuals, whether in passing or when making complaints. Please use alternative websites or resources if you wish to make a complaint about an individual or third party service. (updated February 2020)
  4. Be nice to one another and enjoy chatting with others. We encourage conversation and respectful debate; please be aware that individuals may give opinions which are not shared by other members. Insulting posts or comments making personal jibes will not be tolerated. (updated February 2020)
  5. Please do not post the same message to more than one forum or thread. Duplicate postings may be removed, and may lead to your account being flagged for abuse of the forum.
  6. This is a hate-free zone for autistic people, their families and friends, and professionals working in the field. We do not permit sexism, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, religious intolerance, transphobia, disability hate speech, hate speech, obscenities or pornography to be posted or linked to here.
  7. Recommendations are welcome. If you’ve found a service, book, helpline, or product helpful, feel free to share. If you are using an affiliate link, please advise of this in your post or comment. We do not allow users to register an account with us primarily to advertise, or sell, products and services.
  8. Please do not post fundraisers to the Community. We cannot guarantee the legitimacy of these posts, which can leave the Community vulnerable to scammers and fraudulent requests. Please use alternative websites or resources if you wish to publicise a fundraiser. (updated February 2020)
  9. Requests for research study subjects and surveys need to be directed to research@nas.org.uk for data protection and research ethics reasons. Further information can be found on our research pages. Please be advised that any requests for research subjects or surveys posted on the Community will be deleted without warning.
  10. Media casting and research should be directed to our Press team by emailing press@nas.org.uk Please be advised that any media casting requests not endorsed by the charity will be deleted without warning.
  11. Posts which are deemed by the moderation team to be promoting illegal activity or putting a person at risk will be deleted without warning. (updated February 2020)
  12. All the above rules apply to private messages, with the exception that people may wish to arrange to meet in person or contact one another by other means. In these cases please take the utmost care, and ensure that others are aware for your own protection. If you experience difficulties please contact the moderators for assistance.

By joining the Community, you accept that the Community Moderating Team reserve the right to edit or delete comments and may suspend or delete accounts that break these rules.

Continuously breaking the rules may lead to posts and comments being pre-moderated before being published, suspension of accounts, or deletion if rules continue to be broken. Any attempts to circumvent bans will result in accounts being deleted.

A message from the moderators

The Online Community aims to allow autistic individuals, family members, friends and professionals space to support one another. While we do have a team of Community moderators, their primary role is to ensure that the community is a safe place for all members, and to ensure that rules are followed.

Very occasionally, moderators may step in to provide signposting if it is relevant, or if there are concerns for somebody’s safety. The community is not a crisis service however, and moderators are not able to provide emotional support and advice.

If a moderator has not responded to a post, this does not mean that the team are not aware of the situation. There may be a number of reasons that a moderator has not responded, for example, if the community has already provided all of the signposting that a moderator would be able to give, and they are comfortable that there is nothing else that they are able to add. There may also be reasons that the moderation team are not always at liberty to discuss publically.

In certain circumstances, the moderation team may need to get in touch with a member directly. If this happens, it will not always be publically posted on the community thread. This is in order to protect the member’s confidentiality, as it may be a private and sensitive matter.

Our Community moderating team are here to help; we will not tolerate any abusive behaviour being directed at them and will suspend accounts if this happens. Please remember that the moderators are real people who are volunteers. We are here to make sure the community is a safe environment.

We do appreciate feedback, as this helps us to improve. If you have feedback, a concern or a question, please contact the Community Manager (communitymanager@nas.org.uk) in the first instance.

You can read the full legal information related to the Community in our terms and conditions. Thank you for respecting our rules; we hope that you enjoy being part of the Community forum and find it a friendly, helpful place.