Autism Oxford UK Nominated for the UK’ Largest Diversity Awards.

Autism Oxford UK is a local independent provider from and has been nominated for the Community Organisation Award for Disability: Sponsor - Avast Foundation at The National Diversity Awards 2022.

The Breath-taking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will play host to this year’s awards, to be held on 16thSeptember 2022. Britain’s most inspirational and selfless people will come together to honour the rich tapestry of our nation, recognising individuals and groups from grass roots communities.

The prestigious black-tie event recognises nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

Autism Oxford UK was taken on in December 2020 by Kimberley Ashwin- CEO and Autism Nurse Consultant. As a parent to an autistic daughter and from her professional experience, Kimberley knew the importance of supporting Neurodivergent individuals and their families. Together with our fantastic speech and language therapist, Chloe and autistic peer support practitioner, Morwenna (Now our Managing Director) they have expanded the service providing support to hundreds of people nationally by utilising both their lived and professional experience.

Today, less than 2 years later, we have a diverse team of 30, with half being neurodivergent. Using this blended approach of talent and skills has seen the organisation, go from strength to strength and develop into a well established service provider for the autistic community, empowering them to flourish in life. The team at Autism Oxford UK have worked incredibly hard to achieve this and deserve to be recognised for all their hard work and dedication.

ITV News will be working in association with The National Diversity Awards to highlight role models and community organisations on regional and national news channels. Rachel Corp, Acting Editor, ITV News said; “We are pleased that ITV News will once again be supporting the National Diversity Awards. ITV News remains committed to telling the stories of those, who through their work and dedication to helping others have made a difference, enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our society.”

The UK’s largest diversity awards has attracted a growing list of supporters including Adam Hills, Graham Norton and Katie Piper. Sir Lenny Henry CBE, last year’s winner of the Celebrity of the Year gong said; “Diversity to me means involving everybody without any discrimination; its means having integrated groups in society, it means fairness and total inclusion and that’s what the National Diversity Awards are about. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated, you’re all doing a fantastic job, rock on!”

The National Diversity Awards receives over 60,000 nominations and votes annually. Founder & CEO Paul Sesay said, “As we enter our 11th awards season, The National Diversity Awards prepare to welcome a host of outstanding role models and charities to our family. We look to those who represent progress, spirit and resilience, and I cannot wait to learn about the wonderful work being carried out this year”.

Nominations are now open and close May 20th 2022 - so don’t miss out on your chance to get involved! Shortlisted nominees will be announced shortly after this date. To nominate please click here Or for a nomination form please email:

Online Conference Announced – 1st October


Conference 1st October

Neurodiversity and The Diversity of Autism Saturday 1st October 2022 09:00 - 17:00 £49

16th March – Swallowing Awareness Day

The medical term for swallowing difficulties is dysphagia.
Dysphagia affects 95% of people with Motor Neurone Disease, 65% of people who have had a stroke and around 15 % of people with a learning disability. For children, dysphagia affects up to 40% of infants who are born premature and many more with cerebral palsy. (RCSLT, 2022).
Difficulties with eating, drinking and swallowing are also prevalent in the autistic community. 
Why? 🤔 
Sensory Environment 👃 : mealtimes can be overstimulating for people who are sensitive to sensory input, such as light, sound and smell. 
Food taste and texture 👅 : some people prefer more bland foods, especially if they are sensitive to taste and smell. Other people who are hyposensitive may prefer stronger flavours. These preferences can impact the variety of foods some autistic people can eat.
Food presentation 🥘 : for some autistic people, how food is presented on the plate is important. For example, some individuals find it difficult to eat foods that appear blemished or bruised; whilst others do not want different foods touching.
Dentition 🦷 : some autistic people find it difficult to tolerate brushing their teeth due to sensory sensitivities; in severe cases, this can lead to tooth loss and decay. Without enough teeth, eating hard, chewy, or tough foods can be more difficult.
Other associated conditions: for example, Pica; this is where an individual eats or mouths non-edible items (such as clothing, dirt, or stones). Some autistic people might experience Pica due to medical, dietary, sensory, or behavioural needs. 
Who can help? 🤷‍♀️ 
If you or someone you support is coughing, choking, or struggling to breath when eating and drinking, please speak to your GP as soon as possible. 
They can refer you to:
  • Speech and Language Therapy – for assessment of swallowing, food and drink modifications and mealtime recommendations. 
  • Dietetics – with meeting nutritional needs, managing weight and other health related needs (e.g. constipation and allergies). 
  • Occupational Therapy – with adapted cutlery and the sensory environment.
  • Physiotherapy – with positioning at mealtimes.
  • Clinical Psychology – for behavioural strategies and psychological support (anxiety). 
  • Dentist – for oral care and treatment.
For more information about disordered eating and autism, keep an eye out for our next webinar 💻 
All our upcoming events can be found here ➡️