This section of the website allows visitors to see the answers to frequently asked questions. Visitors can ask questions by emailing Alison K Schofield at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and answers will regularly be uploaded to the website.


What is Autism? 

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.


What is Asperger Syndrome? 

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.


I think I might have Autism, what do I do? 

If you think you might have autism, you should go to your GP and share your belief. It may be useful to complete an AQ test (which can be accessed online) as a form of self assessment and take along some information about why you think you might have autism. The GP, if in agreement, should then refer you on to your local diagnostic pathway where you will await a diagnosis.


What support is available to people with Autism in Calderdale? 

The autism services directory outlines groups and organisations who provide support to people locally. There is a vast range of support available to people with autism. If you believe you have social care needs, you may be able to access support from the local authority. There are also several Asperger support groups located across Calderdale in addition to social groups. Universal services may also be able to offer support.


How do I get a community care assessment completed? 

If you believe that you have social care needs you may want to pursue a community care assessment to determine whether you are eligible for social care and to receive support from your local authority. You will need to contact the Gateway to Care team to request that an allocated worker come out and complete a community care assessment. If you are refused an assessment, you should request to speak to a senior member of the social work team or a social worker who has had formal training in autism.


Where can I meet other people with Autism? 

There are various peer-support groups located across Calderdale were people can meet others with an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Autism events are also a great place to meet others with autism, keep up to date with events that are planned in your local community.


I’m not getting the support I need, what can I do? 

If you are not getting the support that you need, it is important that you communicate this to the relevant person, service or organisation. It may be that you require a reassessment of need if you needs have changed since the initial assessment took place. You should contact your allocated worker and explain the circumstances surrounding your current situation. In addition, the autism services directory outlines local and national services available to people with autism who may be able to offer the support that you are looking for


What is the Autism Act? 

The Autism Act 2009 was the first ever disability-specific law in England. The Act did two key things.

The first was to put a duty on the Government to produce a strategy for adults with autism, which was published on 2 March 2010.

The second was a duty on the Government to produce statutory guidance for local councils and local health bodies on implementing the adult autism strategy by the end of 2010. This guidance was published on 17 December 2010.

The Act, strategy and the statutory guidance relates only to adults with autism living in England.


How can I get help around employment? 

There are various services based in Calderdale who can provide support around employment. If you are seeking employment or are currently in receipt of any employment related benefits, it may be useful to speak to one of the disability employment advisors located at your nearest job centre. If your concern is that you are not receiving any support in employment, it may be useful to think about some adjustments that could be made that would support you to fulfil your role and share these with your employer. If your employer does not make ‘reasonable adjustments’, this could potentially be unlawful and it may be that you need to seek legal advice or specialist advice.


How many people have Autism? 

Around 700,000 people may have autism, or more than 1 in 100 in the population.

There is no register or exact count kept. Any information about the possible number of people with autism in the community must be based on epidemiological surveys (ie studies of distinct and identifiable populations).

The latest prevalence studies of autism indicate that 1.1% of the population in the UK may have autism. This means that over 695,000 people in the UK may have autism, an estimate derived from the 1.1% prevalence rate applied to the 2011 UK census figures.



This project has excellent links with the Aspergers groups currently running in locations across Calderdale. There are two well established groups in Calderdale more information can be found

The groups provide mutual, peer support to anyone with a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition, awaiting diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition and parents and carers. The groups provide an open forum for people to share their experiences to provide support to others and a variety of topics and subjects are discussed. Speakers are invited along occasionally to provide information about services, events etc to members of the group and members are invited to share information and deliver presentations to the rest of the group

A support group for parents of young people with ASC aged 14-25 is run jointly with Calderdale NAS and Unique Ways. They meet on the last Thursday evening of each month from 730-9pm at the Orange Box in Halifax.

For more information about the groups contact Dawn Collins by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit the Aspergers group website to find out dates of upcoming meetings




The Calderdale Autism Development Project is a 16 month joint initiative between Calderdale Council and the National Autistic Society.

The project works with a variety of people with an autism spectrum conditions in Calderdale and provides support to people who do not meet the eligibility criteria for social care but still have low to moderate social care needs.

The project works in partnership with a number of existing services, groups and organisations in the local community to improve access to services for people with autism and raise awareness of autism spectrum conditions.

The project aims to create social opportunities for people with autism spectrum conditions to become active citizens and recognises people as assets, with skill-bases that can be utilised in the design and delivery of services across Calderdale. 

The project emphasises the importance of co-production and aims to include people with autism spectrum conditions and their families at every stage of the development of community led initiatives created for people with autism spectrum conditions in the local community. 

The project develops documents which are accessible to people with autism spectrum conditions, their families and relevant professionals in the community. 

The project welcomes new ideas from people living in Calderdale about how to improve the resources available to people with autism spectrum conditions visit the Contact us page to find out more information and to get involved




This website was built by Alison K Schofield 

I am enabled by two disabilities Aspergers syndrome and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

More information can be found about me at