Resource centre

Our resource centre provides support for adults on the autism spectrum who are in full- or part-time education and wish to be supported at college and/or on their days off. We value every person who uses the centre and their potential for achieving in the workplace.

The resource centre is based in the same building as our day and education centres, at Diamonds Business Centre in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire.

Our main objectives are to:

  • provide structured timetables and Individual Programme Plans (IPP) to help people learn and develop
  • establish links with other further education resources to provide a variety of learning opportunities
  • enable students to gain further education qualifications
  • help people take vocational qualifications and gain the skills necessary to work in supported/mainstream environments
  • help students on job-coaching schemes to find work placements.

I like the work we have done about geography, surveys about holidays, and working with maps.
Adult with autism 

At our resource centre, we tailor individual programmes to each person's interests. Programmes include a mixture of activities either in the centre or out in the local community, and each person can choose specific, individual sessions or can attend on specific days. We can also offer programmes during half-terms and summer holidays.

People at the centre look after me quite well and the staff are friendly. The centre is a fun place to be.
Adult with autism

Education centre

The dedicated staff at our education centre work with staff from Northampton College to help students on the autism spectrum to gain skills at their own pace.

Our 'Moving On' course is a collaboration between The National Autistic Society (NAS) and Northampton College. It's for students with autism who have left school and would like to move onto a local further education college, but would find it difficult to access a mainstream college campus. We also support students seeking an eventual work placement, through job coaching.

On the 'Moving On' course, students gain skills which, in time, will help them to attend full- or part-time college courses.

The course usually lasts two years, but if a student has progressed enough to be able to move to a mainstream campus sooner, then this is possible at the end of the first year. Similarly, if a student needs a longer transition period, they can attend the 'Moving On' Course for a third year.

It's different to school in lots of ways because it's smaller and quieter.
Student

Referrals

Students are signed up to the 'Moving On' course by Northampton College. Interviews are conducted by the NAS and referrals can be made to us directly or via Connexions, social workers or care managers.

Next Steps

After attending the 'Moving On' course, students are able to choose the college and course they wish to attend. This could be a mainstream or additional needs course at Northampton College or Moulton College, which, as a former agricultural college, offers a different range of opportunities. Other students opt for job coaching and a work placement, which we work to provide in collaboration with the Northamptonshire Society for Autism.