A NEW autism information and advice service has been launched in South Somerset.

The service, which was launched in Dorset in June, is provided by Disability Wessex and funded by the Wessex Autistic Society in conjunction with BBC Children in Need.

The service will provide free, impartial and confidential information, and advice for those affected by autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) throughout South Somerset.

It will cover a wide range of issues from diagnosis and benefits, to education and employment.

Neil Eaton, the ASD advisor, is able to advise on any other specific issues or concerns that may be encountered.

Disability Wessex already operates a well-resourced disability information service and direct payments support service, so a wide range of information is already available.

The information service also specialises in advice on completing Disability Living Allowance applications.

The Wessex Autistic Society has a wide range of services for both children and adults with autism including a residential/day school for children from the ages of two to nineteen, residential day and community support services to adults, respite and behavioral support to children and families, support groups for parents and carers and a resource/information base at its Head Office in Christchurch.

The ASD Advisor is Neil Eaton, and is available from 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, and will regularly be available at some support group meetings.

For further information on the service or for advice contact Neil at: * The ASD Advisor, Disability Wessex, GF, Unit 5, Stratfield Saye, 20 -22 Wellington Road, Bournemouth. BH8 8JN.

* Tel: 01202-312085 * Fax: 01202 589991 * Email: asd@disabilitywessex.org.uk * Click on the links below for websites.