Autistic Inclusive Meets/AIM

Our Aims Are:

To enable families with autistic children, and autistic individuals to get out into the community and socialise in an accepting inclusive environment with like-minded peers.

To provide monthly meet up dates and times at museums, parks and places of interest.

To make available funded meals and trips out with fares for transport provided for families and individuals.

To arrange and facilitate trips for adults into the community allowing otherwise socially cut off individuals to thrive and instigate friendships.

To fund families and individuals to go on holiday breaks that they otherwise could not afford, renting out a fully disabled-friendly wheelchair-adapted bungalow or caravan for a week.

To rent premises for a weekly special needs playgroup with sensory toys/aids/apparatus and outdoor wheelchair-friendly play area.

To purchase sensory equipment including weighted blanket and compression vests.

To provide support and advice to families and individuals.

To promote acceptance of autism and educate the general public.

To protect autistic rights and campaign against autistic mistreatment.

To provide telephone and email helplines for members feeling anxious and requiring a caring individual to speak to them for support.

To fund families wishing to purchase sensory toys, specialist clothing and aids (weighted vest; helmet; chewy tube devices), Maclaren Major buggies, and to have a lending service for all such items.

To provide life skill training for teenagers, such as trips to supermarket and launderette, accompanied by a volunteer to encourage them to interact and enable more independence.

No personal gain is to be taken from any funding received.

AIM Board of Directors

Emma Dalmayne

Emma Dalmayne


I am an autistic mother to autistic children the youngest two of whom I home educate.

I campaign strongly for autistic rights and fight to stop autistic mistreatment, having worked with the BBC, the police and other prominent media.

I believe that AIM will encourage autistic individuals to come out into the community, we provide support for those feeling cut off from society including those who are LGBT.

We will support and provide playgroup services which allows the children to access sensory enrichment while mixing with their peers.

It also allows the parents to meet up and mix with autistic adults which, I believe, is vital.

I have a strong believe in acceptance and inclusion.

I am also author of two books about autism, It’s An Autism Thing – I’ll Help You Understand It and Susie Spins.

I also have a blog and run the AIM playgroups.

Donna Armitage

Donna Armitage


I’m a home educating mother to my youngest gorgeous, complex special-needs son; I also have a beautiful non-autistic daughter.

I have worked as a volunteer in a special needs toy library and as a 1:1 teacher’s assistant with spectrum children.

Inclusion is key and acceptance as well awareness is paramount.

Sara Challinger

Sara Challinger


I am a mum of four children. My eldest and youngest girls are autistic.

I have been an assistant brownie leader otherwise known as Snowy Owl for 14 years now and I have no plans to give that up anytime soon—it’s far too much fun! I also love knitting and am slowly improving my crochet skills.

I home educate my youngest daughter who is 9 years old and help Emma run the AIM Playgroup which is also a lot of fun.

In the future, I see AIM growing into an organisation that won’t just rival the NAS—I see it taking the place of the NAS. I see AIM supporting families and giving them the knowledge to support their autistic family member in a way that allows the person to grow and reach their fullest potential without fear of abuse—mental, emotional or physical.

Alexandra Forshaw

Alexandra Forshaw


I’m an autistic parent with an adult autistic daughter. I work full-time as a software developer.

I’ve been blogging and writing for several years, mostly on the subject of autism, and contributed a chapter to the Autism Women’s Network anthology, What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew.

I am also involved in advocacy, and recently became involved with Flow Observatorium, a neurodivergent-led project to support and promote recognition of neurodivergent people and their rights.

Joanna Takla

Joanna Takla


I am a 40-something qualified solicitor with 4 children, of whom 2 are diagnosed on the spectrum. My son now aged 16 was diagnosed in 2006 and I have been immersing myself in all things ASD since. My daughter was diagnosed aged 3 earlier this year, and it made me think of my own profile and personality, as she has a different dad to my son.
I haven’t sought a diagnosis for myself but am starting to recognise and accept my past issues, which have probably been misdiagnosed as a mental health presentation when I was just trying to adapt to social expectations and pressures. Anyway I am here and I have been through years of building what others describe as amazing resilience, in the face of too often being misunderstood.
I am passionate about autistic people with all types of abilities making the most of life and their potential, being well understood, cared for and their rights respected. I have excellent knowledge of SEN (3 of my children now have an EHCP) and of social care duties, respect carers and those cared for, within my professional life. But most of all I know how important it is to gather as a community and have fun, whilst feeling less isolated. A bit of moral support makes such a difference!
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