URGENT PLEA TO SAVE AUTISM CHARITYS ADVICE LINE 2009: Anglia Midlands

URGENT PLEA TO SAVE AUTISM CHARITYS ADVICE LINE

East Anglia East Midlands London National North East North West South East South West West Midlands Yorks and Humber The Community Newswire newsdesk can

be contacted on 0870 124 0866 Journalists can access stories via the Press Association wire service or online at: Find out about other community stories on: A free local advice and information service for parents and carers of children with autism has warned that it may face closure if new funding cannot be found. The Wessex Autistic Society's free information and advice line aims to provide an impartial, confidential service for people affected by autism throughout Dorset. Run in conjunction with Disability Wessex, it provides highly trained advisers to whom families can turn to as a first point of contact if they know or suspect their child may have autism. Launched in 2006 with the help of a three year grant from BBC Children in Need, this funding has now ceased and the charity fears for the future of the service if it fails to secure funding for 2009/10.

The helpline has assisted more than 1,400 local families over the past three years, dealing with in excess of 2,000 different issues affecting families, from benefits rights to community support services, and respite care services to special education, as well as appeals and advocacy for families who need help obtaining correct diagnosis of their child's condition and gaining funding for proper support.

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