Leading law firm, Ellisons Solicitors, has launched its dedicated services for individuals with autism or who are separating from an autistic person and families raising a child or children with autism, following extensive and specialist training from Autism Anglia.

This initiative is being offered by Ellisons Family Team who have undertaken training with Autism Anglia to further understand the unique needs of the autistic person (both children and adults), in order to offer a range of specialised services to support individuals and their loved ones through various legal and personal challenges.

The team can offer support, empathy, patience and understanding to families with additional needs. They can provide advice to individuals who are going through a separation whilst raising autistic children and consequently require specialist family law advice in relation to all matters surrounding a separation whether the client is married or unmarried. This would include divorce and financial matters arising and advice regarding child arrangements.

For the autistic person going through a separation (whether married or unmarried), Ellisons can also provide specialist family law advice in relation to all aspects of Family Law. The team understand the importance of consistency and good communication, especially for the autistic person. To create a comfortable and accommodating environment, the team can conduct sensory audits of meeting rooms and adjust communication styles accordingly, including using bullet points and contrasting colours for easier readability, considering the sensory sensitivities of the autistic person.

The team also offers an understanding to the client who is separating or divorcing an autistic person and understands how this process may have an impact on their ex-spouse or partner and can provide specialist advice to work collaboratively towards swift and effective solutions.

The initiative was inspired after an increase in the number of autistic clients seeking advice during the pandemic in 2020. Since then, Senior Associate, MaryCarmel Wilson has driven this initiative due to a desire to provide an inclusive service for all individuals to a high standard which is accessible for all.

MaryCarmel has a personal passion for promoting an understanding and awareness for autism as she herself is raising an autistic child; “I strive to create a world for my son, and our autistic clients, where there is understanding and compassion about what autism means for the autistic person. There is a wonderful saying about autism which is ‘When you have met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person’ and I will continue my journey of understanding about what autism means for individuals and society. I am sure as time goes on, we will continue to adapt and strengthen our services accordingly.”

Partner and Head of Ellisons Family Team, Lisa Dawson, added: “We are really privileged as a team to be able to offer this kind of support to autistic individuals and families raising children with additional needs. Our experience as a department on several cases has taught us that adapting our services to meet additional needs, is of the utmost importance and will make our clients feel more comfortable when dealing with our firm.

“We are thankful to Autism Anglia for offering us a very detailed training experience which allows us to have a more nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by individuals and their loved ones on this journey. For example, we now understand that it is often much easier for the Autistic person to meet in person or via Teams rather than on the telephone and this is something we are mindful of.

“It is not just about legal advice for us; it is about empathy, patience, and genuine connection to help us create that warm and welcoming environment for our clients. This year we will continue fostering our relationship with Autism Anglia and our fundraising efforts so we can continue to be that safe space for our clients.”

Ellisons Family Team is actively involved in raising funds for Autism Anglia. They have recently taken part in the Autism Anglia Corporate Challenge, the Autism Anglia 50th Year Celebration Ball at Braxted Park, and their recent Silly Sock Day.

For more information on how Ellisons Family Team can support the needs of autistic families, please visit here.

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