Who Are We?Autism South East (ASE) is a family run and autistic led organisation, helping and supporting autistic adults and children and their families throughout the South East. Amanda Cook has three autistic children, is autistic herself, founded ASE after experiencing isolation and a lack of support and guidance. She is a primary school teacher and has specialised in challenging behaviour but says that her own autism journey has taught her even more. Amanda wanted to share her knowledge and break down the barriers of isolation felt by many families. As CEO Amanda organises and develops how ASE delivers that information and support. She also leads talks on autistic acceptance to organisations, businesses and groups. Tim Cook has 25 years of experience working with autistic children and adults. He is now stepfather to Amanda’s three children and they have a little boy of their own. Tim works tirelessly to support autistic people and their families. ASE currently has two support groups in the North Kent area. Tim and the team run friendly and fun events and activities for both children and adults. Activities have included Retro-gaming, Lego, coding, soft play, cake decorating, bath bomb making and hope to continue to offer a range of activities.
Together Amanda and Tim lead an executive committee, and a growing group of area coordinators and volunteers, who promote autistic acceptance, information and support for autistic families.
Their mission is to break down the barriers of isolation felt by many in the autistic community by following three strands:
- Many families feel isolated with children unable to attend clubs or activities within the local area and some adults can find it challenging to go out. ASE provides events and activities for autistic children and adults to socialise, learn and enjoy.
- It can be a challenge for parents/carers/ professionals to find information or even just have a cup of tea and a chat with someone who ‘gets it’. ASE aim to provide monthly support groups or autism cafes across the north Kent area and beyond to give people an opportunity to talk and find out more.
- Many autistics can feel judged or misunderstood. ASE provides ‘Autistic acceptance’ talks to groups, organisations and businesses in order to improve the understanding and acceptance of autism within the community.
*Autism South East C.I.C. is a Community Interest Company registered in the UK. We are regulated by the Office for Community Interest Companies; they ensure we have community minded objectives and that any surplus money goes back into the community.
Registered Company Number: 11994418
Directors: Mandy Cook, Tim Cook, Matt Lynch, Rachel Erodotou