Chair of STACS Recognised for Quality of Autism Training

For the past 12 months, Marilyn Jones has been co-producing and delivering autism awareness training to mental health staff across Shropshire/Telford and Wrekin CMHTs, and at The Redwoods.

As some of you may know, she has worked with mental health services for around 10 years, mostly around carer support and service delivery processes. Her co-trainer is a consultant clinical psychologist who trained at the NAS’s Lorna Wing Centre, so together they combine the clinical and lived-experience elements very well.

The sessions have been enthusiastically received, and they have now been asked to extend this training across to Staffordshire! Many staff reported that they had previously had no ASD training whatsoever, and this may explain some of the difficulties that crop up regularly. With this in mind, there are plans to design a more in-depth follow-on session.

Marilyn never fails to promote both STACS and our local Autism Hubs, so it is particularly pleasing that her hard-work and expertise has been officially recognised.

Well done Marilyn!

National Autism Programme Board

Our STACS member Peter continues to involved in the Department of Health and Social Care led review of progress of the governments adult autism strategy.

The slides shown below were produced by the carers and self advocate members of the national Autism Programme Board.  Peter Hopkins (STACS) and Eric Heath (Autonomy) were involved in their production.   The slides were presented at the first of the new Accountability meetings of the APB chaired by the minister Caroline Dineage on March 26th 2018.

Living Well

The following link explains the revised governance and accountability model in which Peter and Eric are involved:




We have received  an interesting email from the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Cambridge, headed by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen.
They are looking for more adults diagnosed with ASC to take part in their research. If you think it appropriate, please pass on the information to your cared-for.


From: Paula Smith <>
Subject: Request for people to help with research at Cambridge University

I am contacting you on behalf of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Cambridge, headed by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. The aim of the ARC is to understand the biomedical causes of autism spectrum conditions, and develop new and validated methods for assessment and intervention.

We are currently interested in recruiting additional participants for our research database. Registration is completed online ( and those who choose to sign up will have access to many different studies both online and in person. We were hoping that you would be willing to forward the attached flyer and this information to any adults (over 16 years old) diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions or parents of children (under 16 years old) with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. We are also able to provide printouts of the flyers to be put up on notice boards or so that you can hand them out to potential participants.

Some additional information –

Those who would like to register will be asked to provide some background information and can immediately take some questionnaires and psychological tests online. Participants can complete these at their leisure by logging in and out of their volunteer homepage with their chosen login details and will only need to complete them once.

We will also contact participants from time to time to tell them about new projects which might be of interest to them. The research projects carried out by the ARC are varied. Many of our research projects only involve filling in 5 minute questionnaires or doing tasks online. Some of our studies may involve being assessed by one of our team (such as brain scanning studies) or taking part in genetic studies.

All of our studies, whether psychological or biological, are carefully designed to protect participants’ confidential information and are governed by the University of Cambridge Psychology Research Ethics Committee, which approves all of our work.

We would really appreciate your support and help to advance autism research. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With many thanks and best wishes,
Paula Smith
Database Manager

On behalf of

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry
University of Cambridge



A report by York University and University College London on low-level preventative support for adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism has just been published.

STACS Secretary, Peter Hopkins, has had a major input into the formulation of this Department of Health funded report; next steps include getting government departments to promote this type of support nationally, and Peter continues to lobby for this.

Fortunately, the study team for this report received input from local Shropshire and Telford folks passionate about this type of support: Peter, Sara and Eric Heath, Marion Youens (formerly of A4U) and Jane Hambleton (SSSFT).

The report contains a national mapping of support services. STACS and the Shropshire Autism Hub are referenced. Here is a link to the report: