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National Autistic Society

British organization for autistic people and their loved ones

The National Autistic Society
Founded1962; 59 years ago (1962)
Group of London-based parents
TypeRegistered charity
Supporting the rights and interests of all autistic people
  • London, UK
Area served
United Kingdom
Members (2020)
Revenue (2012–13)
£88 million

The National Autistic Society (NAS) is a British charity for autistic people. The purpose of the organisation is to improve the lives of autistic people in the United Kingdom.

National Autistic Society Intro articles: 2


In addition to a wide range of adult and children's services for autistic people located across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the charity has an Autism Helpline open 5 days a week, a range of products for professionals working with autistics and a campaigning function.[2][3] Sarah Lambert, the head of policy at the National Autistic society is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism.[4]

In 2011, the NAS consulted with numerous police agencies in developing identity card schemes designed to ensure a tolerable environment for autistic individuals during inquiries; participating agencies included the Wiltshire Police, the Essex Police, the Norfolk Constabulary, the Suffolk Constabulary, and the Cumbria Constabulary.[5][6]

The NAS is also a founding member of Autism-Europe, an umbrella organisation bringing together 80 autism organisations from over 30 European countries. As a member of Autism-Europe, the NAS collaborates and shares examples of learning and good practice with other associations throughout the continent.

The current Chief Executive is Caroline Stevens. She took over from Mark Lever in 2019, after being Chief Executive at Kids for six years.[7]

National Autistic Society Activities articles: 8


The NAS is organised into four regions and currently run by an elected Board of Trustees and an elected Council through a Strategic Management Group. The president of the NAS is Jane Asher and the patron is The Countess of Wessex.[8] The NAS is funded through UK government grants and voluntary contributions. In 2012–2013, it employed around 3,000 people and spent £85.2 million directly on its charitable activities, out of £91.2 million in expenditures (approx 93.4%).

The National Autistic Society has the following names registered with the Charity Commission:

  • The National Autistic Society
  • National Society for Autistic Children
  • Autism UK
  • Action for Autism

National Autistic Society Organisation articles: 2

List of NAS Schools and facilities

The NAS manages a number of residential schools in the United Kingdom.

  • Anderson School in Chigwell, Essex for children between 11 and 19 years old[9]
  • Broomhayes School & Children's Centre (alternatively Kingsley House) near Bideford, Devon, which has now been turned into an adult residential facility since the school got close to reaching its 30th Anniversary[10]
  • Church Lawton School in Church Lawton, Stoke-on-Trent[11]
  • Daldorch House School in Ayrshire, Scotland for children 5–18 years old
  • Helen Allison School near Meopham, Kent[12]
  • Robert Ogden School in Thurnscoe near Rotherham, Yorkshire for pupils/students aged between 5 and 19 years old[13][14][15]
  • Radlett Lodge School in Radlett, Hertfordshire for pupils/students aged between 4 and 19 years old[16]
  • Sybil Elgar School in Southall, Ealing and Acton, West London for students aged between 4 and 22 years old[17]
  • Thames Valley School in Reading, Berkshire[18]

National Autistic Society List of NAS Schools and facilities articles: 16


Founded in 1962 as the Autistic Children's Aid Society of North London, it has around 20,000 members. In 1963, Gerald Gasson, a parent and member of the Executive Committee, designed the primary symbol for autism: a puzzle piece with a picture of a crying child inside of it, which was first used as logo by the NAS itself.[19][20][21] The National Autistic Society originated from the foundation of the Autistic Children's Aid Society of North London on 23 January 1962 by parents of autistic children living in the area, with the assistance of a member from The Spastics Society (later Scope).[22] Sybil Elgar was asked by the parents to be their first teacher for their children.[23] The Society school for Autistic Children was established and later renamed as the Sybil Elgar School with her as the first principal. The current name was adopted in 1975 when the charity extended its interest to the whole of the United Kingdom.

National Autistic Society History articles: 3

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result Refs
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Marketing Campaign of the Year Make it Stop Nominated [24][25]


  1. ^ "National Autistic Society membership". Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Office-based opportunities - NAS". Autism.org.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  3. ^ "ChildRIGHT Interview: Sarah Lambert, head of policy, National Autistic Society | Children & Young People Now". Cypnow.co.uk. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Advisory group - All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism". www.appga.org.uk. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  5. ^ Autism Alert Card Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Wiltshire Police, Retrieved 6 May 2011
  6. ^ Autism Anglia Archived 10 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 6 May 2011
  7. ^ "National Autistic Society appoints new Chief Executive (28 June 2019) - National Autistic Society". www.autism.org.uk. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Our structure and people". National Autistic Society. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  9. ^ "NAS Anderson School, Chigwell". National Autistic Society. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "The National Autistic Society Minutes of the Annual General Meeting And Family Day". 22 November 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Church Lawton School - The National Autistic Society - NAS". National Autistic Society.
  12. ^ "Helen Allison School - The National Autistic Society - NAS". National Autistic Society.
  13. ^ "Robert Ogden School - The National Autistic Society - NAS". National Autistic Society.
  14. ^ "The Robert Ogden School". OFSTED.
  15. ^ "SC032154". OFSTED.
  16. ^ "Radlett Lodge School - The National Autistic Society - NAS". National Autistic Society.
  17. ^ "Sybil Elgar School - The National Autistic Society - NAS". National Autistic Society.
  18. ^ "Thames Valley School - The National Autistic Society - NAS". National Autistic Society.
  19. ^ "National Autistic Society Timeline - 1963. First NAS logo developed". tiki-toki.com. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  20. ^ Grinker, Roy Richard; Mandell, David (1 June 2015). "Notes on a puzzle piece". Autism. SAGE Publications. 19 (6): 643–645. doi:10.1177/1362361315589293. PMID 26378295. S2CID 21016160.
  21. ^ Muzikar, Debra (20 April 2015). "The Autism Puzzle Piece: A symbol that's going to stay or go?". The Art of Autism. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  22. ^ Allison, Helen Green (June 1997). "Perspectives on a puzzle piece". National Autistic Society. Archived from the original on 25 February 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  23. ^ "Our Story So Far". National Autistic Society. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  24. ^ "2017 Shortlisted Creative - Diversity In Media Awards". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Make It Stop". The National Autistic Society. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018 – via YouTube.

External links