General Information

Disability Wessex- Help with all benefit claims. Call: 0300 330 5514 at local rate

CDC ASD Links - A government website with lots of great links to websites with information and resources.  http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/links.html

National Autism Center (Resources) - A nonprofit organization dedicated to disseminating evidence-based information about the treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), promoting best practices, and offering comprehensive and reliable resources for families, practitioners, and communities.  With lots of resources and information http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/resources/for-families/

The Children’s Society - Counselling, Parent Advisors, Anger Management, Family Mediation. At WAVES, St Mary St, Weymouth

Call: 01305 768768 Self Referrals via: chantal.sykes@childrensociety.org.uk

Complaints to DCC regarding child or adult services. - Call: General – 01305 221061, Safeguarding Unit: 01305 221122, Vulnerable Adults: 01305 221016


Dimensions - Support with Direct payments applications, Person Centered Reviews, transition and housing, respite. Plus programmes for 14 – 19yr olds.

Call: 0300 373 3730 or Trina Ford on: 07899 875975 Email: supportenquiries@dimensions-uk.orgwww.dimensions-uk.org

Cerebra- Charity with free sleep service, lending library for toys and books, personal portfolio for your child to use in various services.www.cerebra.org.uk

ASD - A Sense of Difference - One of our teenagers at A-Stars has produced a PowerPoint presentation on how it feels to have ASD at this time of his life which includes some personal strategies for coping. It can be viewed here

NAS Parent to Parent Service - Run by the National Autistic Society this free phone call from a landline has an answering machine where you leave a message and they will contact you back at a time to suit you including weekends or evenings to talk through any issues, problems or feelings you may be experiencing. Call: 0800 9 520 520

Barnardos Helpline - A chance to talk over any family issues whatsoever, although not necessarily ASD trained they may be able to put you in touch with support from Social Services or give advice on dealing with the stressors of everyday life.

Jane Sneesby: 01305 250161 or 07768644837 (Bridport Area) Helen Pegram: 07500109215 (Dorchester Area) Dorset Parent Support Adviser Service: 01305 250161

Citizens Advice Bureau - Free independent, confidential and impartial advice. Call: 02078 332181

The Continence Advisory Service - An open referral service or via GP’s, social services and consultants. Clinics held in Blandford, Bridport, Dorchester, Gillingham, Sherborne and Weymouth.
Call: 01305 259978 

Operation Autism - An US based charity, specialising in helping military families with Autism.  Contains a large number of resources.

ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving childhood Continence) - Supports children and their families with bed wetting, day time wetting and soiling.
Call: 0845 3708008 www.eric.org.uk

Dorset ParentCarer Council- Lots of pointers and info for children and young people with disabilities.
Call: 07827793244 Email: dpcc@talktalk.netwww.dorsetparentcarercouncil.co.uk

Xchange- Created by Dorset County Council, this is an interactive news and information network for children who are disabled and their families. Join this service and be kept up to date with events services and activities. You will also automatically receive a ‘max’ card giving free or discounted entry to a growing number of leisure facilities and attractions across the county. Also, you will be able to join the ‘Dorset Carers In Crisis’ scheme with a 24 hour a day helpline. Call: 01305 224523 Email: theXchange@dorsetcc.gov.uk

Afasic - Charity site with helpline and considerable information regarding children with speech and language disorders.
Helpline 08453 55 55 77 www.afasic.org.uk

Cinema Card - The Cinema Exhibitors' Association Card permits one carer free. http://www.ceacard.co.uk/

Education and Behaviour

Parent Partnership Service - The Dorset Parent Partnership Service offers free advice and support to parents and carers of children with special educational needs. The service can help parents/carers by offering advice, information and support on such things as: Rights and responsibilities, Who to talk to in school about concerns, How a child is assessed and helped in school, When progress should be discussed, What happens during statutory assessment. http://www.dorsetforyou.com

The Advisory Centre For Education - A charity that operates advice services on all things educational.
Call: 0808 8000 327 ACE advice line 08088005793. www.ace-ed.org.uk

Dorset County Council Psychology Service - Educational Psychologists are happy to be contacted on: 01305 851300. www.dorsetforyou.com

IPSEA- A national charity providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs. All our advice is given by trained volunteers.

Call: 0800 0184016 www.ipsea.org.uk

National Association for Special Educational Needs - The latest special needs news, resources and reviews. www.nasen.org.uk

Family Support and Activities

Seasame Street & Autism - A fantastic resource for parents with lots of resources and information based around the popular children's TV series. 

RetailMeNot Reduce the Noise - A great article looking at Sensory Overloads and the effects when shopping.  Also comes with advice on how to make the shopping trips manageable.


Home Start- Providers of friendship, advice and practical support via volunteers. Self referral or through GP, Social Worker etc. Must have at least 1 child under the age of 5 yrs. Waiting times may vary depending on match between family and volunteer. This is a free service! Call: 01305 265072 www.homestartwestdorset.co.uk

Sportfit - Short breaks, activity weekends for all inc those with extra needs.
Call: 07702082794 Email: sportfit@ymail.com

Fernheath Play- Take a break, go shopping, to the theatre etc whilst your child is supported during a ‘short break’ play session. Age 5 – 14yrs with disabilities or extra needs. £10 annual membership, £5 per session booked. Call: 01202 581008 Email: kay@fernheath.org

TEDS - Equipment and toy exchange service. Donate your used items and receive a voucher towards purchase of other used items. Ringwood. Mon- Sat 9am – 5pm Call: 07795 109559

Dorset Advocacy - A group of volunteers who support people with learning disabilities. They may help people try out new interests and opportunities or attend meetings and conferences.
Call: 01305 251033 www.dorsetadvocacy.co.uk

Childminding - Via Dorset County Council, these are highly experienced, professional childminders. Charges vary.

Call: 01305 221066 Email: familyinfo@dorsetcc.gov.uk

Every Care - Help and support for all the family including activities outside the home and family trips. Child care costs begin at around £17 per hour but these can be offset from direct payments through social services. Call: 01305 257777 Email: childrenservices@everycare-wessex.co.ukhttp://www.everycare-wessex.com/


The Dorset Youth Service - Currently have clubs running in Blandford, Dorchester and Weymouth. Aimed at young people with disabilities aged between 11 and 25.
Call: Blandford, Michelle Corbin, 01258 451396 Email: michelle123@tiscali.co.uk
Dorchester, Sandy Cave, 01305 860354 Email: sandyncave@yahoo.co.uk

Weymouth, Tom Lane, 01305 771861 Email: t.s.lane@dorsetcc.gov.uk

Remix - An inclusive youth performance company welcoming those with learning difficulties. Ages from 13 – 17. Meets one Sunday each month from 10 – 3 at Victoria Education Centre and Poole High School. Call: Alice Chutter, 01305 261953 or Email: alicechutter@activateperformingarts.org.uk

Rylands Farm - Hands on learning opportunities about animals, the countryside, nature and the environment. Lots of activities, visits 2 – 4 hours.
Call: 01963 210703 email: info@futureroots.net

Cowden Care Farm - www.cowdenfarm.organna.m.hall@talk21.com
Hands on experience for adults with additional needs. Including equestrian, crafts, woodwork, horticulture, farm maintenance and fishing. Based in Charminster, Dorchester. Payments can be made via personal budget, self funded, supported by DCC or via the direct payment scheme.

Riding For The Disabled Association -
Call: 0845 4506957.Sessions are held at Osmington stables

Face to Face Befriending Service - Free telephone, email or 1:1. Dorchester volunteer. Application forms available. Call: 01202 855105 Email: chrisf@copingwithchaos.org

Contact a family - Holds lists of those looking for/offering support with similar situations. www.cafamily.org.uk

NHS Services


LoveSweetLove - For contraception and sexual health services inc literature for those with extra needs. Key fobs available to download apps to smart phones.
Call: 0300 303 1948 www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk


The Swift - Dorset County Hospital: Tackling behaviours that challenge. Up to the age of 19. Your child will require a referral by either, a doctor, social worker or teacher. (Be aware that there is a 1 year waiting list but once on the list you can receive parent/carer training). Call: 01305 228981 Address - Marvin House, Monkton Park, Dorchester,  DT2 9PS


The Incredible Years Parenting Programme- A programme deigned to equip parents and carers with strategies to help deal with challenging and negative behaviour.
Call: 01305 751234


NHS. Early Intervention in Psychosis Service - Age 14 - 35. Via GP or other professionals. Leaflets available. Email: epis@dhuft.nhs.uk


Dorset Mental Health Capacity Act Team - The MCA Team for Dorset County Council and Dorset PCT provide advice, consultancy and training on all aspects of the Act including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. We aim to advice and support and build people’s confidence in applying the MCA.
Paul Greening - Mental Capacity Act Manager E: paul.greening@dorset-pct.nhs.uk Tel: 01305 368920

Support Groups

ASDFriendly.org- A parent led support group giving advice on schools, behaviour, violence, Child and Mental Health Services, diet, illness and countless other things. Includes professional input on law and services available to families affected by ASD’s. www.asdfriendly.org


Disability Teams - Community Learning Disability Team. Range of services for over 18's. Call: 01305 760139 Email: weymouthsocialcare@dorset.gov.uk


RSCPP- A Therapist Directory listing over 2000 Therapists nationwide all of which are accredited/chartered or registered and belong to a professional body.  http://www.rscpp.co.uk


Jesscia KIngsley- Site for publishers of catalogues and books on Autism/Asperger. www.jkp.com


Fulton Publishers - Publishers who deal with educational books including ASD's and SEN. www.fultonpublishers.co.uk 



www.therapy-directory.org.uk- A directory created to promote the benefits of complementary therapy and aim to give visitors all the information they need to help them make an informed decision about whether therapy would be right for them. The website has an FAQ's section, a number of useful articles written by members and the facility to search for a practitioner in your area.


www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk -Search for a nutritionist near you


www.counselling-directory.org.uk- Search for a counsellor near you


The websites listed on this page are for information purposes only and therefore do not necessarily constitute recommendations by A-Stars, nor any of its members be held responsible for any content on external websites which can be accessed via the links on this website. Details regarding these organisations were correct at the time of notification