Kate Laine-Toner

Our History

In the summer of 2012, our founder Kate Laine-Toner was new to Bristol, and her daughter was undergoing assessment for autism. Like most parents in this situation, Kate struggled to find information and support. She was also frightened and isolated.

Kate was frustrated by how difficult it was to find support, and found a lot of this kind of thing:

support group meeting bad example flyer
When is this meeting? How long has this flyer been here? Who do I contact for more information?

And this kind of thing:

unhelpful autism quote

And also this:

Unhelpful clinic map
A chocolate teapot of a map – similar to one Kate received from a local clinic.

Kate knew that there were other parents in the same situation, and that all of this information was out there, but hard to find. She decided to create a group that would bring parents together to share information, experiences and knowledge. Her vision was that this would help them feel more confident and less isolated, and improve the futures of our autistic children.

Bristol Autism Support began in June 2012. The group first met at the Spotted Cow pub in North Street in Southville, then moved on to a small community centre. Now we hold support group meetings at the Quaker Meeting House in Bedminster and Bailey’s Court Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke.

Bristol Autism Support Facebook group

Our Facebook group was set up in 2013 and now has over 1,200 members. This and our website have become our main source of providing support for parents and carers of autistic children in Bristol and surrounding areas.

In addition to online and in-person support, BAS is also a training provider. Additionally, we provide consultancy and support for local attractions, businesses, medical and education settings.

Bristol Autism Support is a Community Organisation. We exist to support parents and carers of autistic children. Please read more about us by clicking here.