CASPA is a unique, rapidly growing and award winning charity that was set up in 2002, working to support children, young people & families affected by Autism.
We run social clubs, specialist trampolining and technology projects, holiday programmes, residential trips and family support; all with the focus on enabling our young people to access what they are entitled to - fun, friendship and an independent future!
We are based in the London Borough of Bromley and currently work with around 300 children and young people every week, primarily at The Link Youth Centre, Orpington, The Hawes Down Children’s Centre, West Wickham and Bromley and Downham Youth Club, Bromley.
We are passionate about providing inspirational activities and opportunities for children and young people with high functioning autism to develop their social, communication and independent living skills, gain confidence and increase their chances of full integration into society.
We use sport, drama, visual arts, cooking, music and a whole range of other activities to bring the children & young people together, break down barriers, build confidence, increase their communication skills and enable them to relax and have fun.
At CASPA, children with ASDs can find friends; often something they have never done before, and they can begin to be proud of who they are.
Why we do what we do
Children and young people with ASDs have a ‘hidden’ disability in that they may look like any other child of their age, but the defining features of Autism include a lack of social awareness, communication skills and social imagination. These impairments are life long and pervasive, they cannot be ‘cured’, but with appropriate intervention and sensitive support these skills can be taught and developed.
Many children and young people with high functioning autism suffer from bullying and isolation; many cannot cope with the social demands placed upon them in school or ‘mainstream’ social circles. These things can lead to the children & young people experiencing sadness, anger, depression, confusion and frustration; which in turn can lead to challenging behaviour, self-harm and/or reclusiveness (we hear many parents say that their child just ‘refuses to come out of their room’).