We celebrated 10 years of the Nottingham City Autism Service at a special anniversary event held yesterday at The Pines, Highbury Hospital.
The specialist service, previously called the Nottingham City Asperger Service, was set up in April 2009 to focus on diagnosing and supporting adults on the autism spectrum in Nottingham City. At the time there were only a few such services in the country. Since starting, the service has received over 2,300 referrals and seen over 1,700 adults for diagnostic assessment for autism.
Recognising that other neurodevelopmental conditions frequently co-exist with autism, the service has developed a specialist clinic for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has links with the Trust’s Adult Tourette’s Clinic. It also raises awareness and improves knowledge of autism through delivering training courses to health and social care professionals and by collaborating on new research.
The special anniversary event was an opportunity to celebrate the many achievements of the service and was attended by staff, current and past service users and carers. The event included a commemorative tree planting ceremony by Dr John Brewin, Trust Chief Executive, a showcase of creative work by people who have used the service over the past 10 years, and a chance to speak to staff and learn more about autism.
Jackie Dziewanowska, Nottingham City Autism Service Clinical Lead, said: “We are so proud to be marking 10 years of our fantastic service. Over the past decade we have seen numbers of referrals increase every year as autism becomes more widely known and more people recognise the benefits of diagnosis. This event has given us a chance to celebrate the service, our staff, the people we support and to also raise awareness of autism.”
To coincide with its 10 year anniversary, the service has changed its name from Nottingham City Asperger Service to Nottingham City Autism Service. This is because the most commonly used term is now autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Asperger syndrome is, and will continue to be, considered part of the autism spectrum. There are no other changes to the service.