About us


Zak Mohamed was 3 years old when a doctor told his family he had autism.

They knew he was different to their other children but the word autism meant nothing to them. In the Somali language there is no word for autism, only words meaning normal or not-normal. And Zak’s mother Nura knew that this was not right.

So she set out to educate herself about this condition. And she realised that not only could she share this understanding within her community but she could spread a cultural understanding within the professional community involved as well.

And so, Autism Independence was born.

Three women stand in front of a notice board. Two of the women are wearing headscarves. All of them are smiling. A large group is scattered around a room in the Watershed.





Nura’s mission to share culturally relevant knowledge from a lived experience perspective has led to her PHD studies with Bristol University, to educating families in Bristol from both a Somali background and other migrant communities, and to using her research to change the way professional services work.

Autism Independence also promotes overcoming taboo and stigma in disabilities as a whole, in an approach that encourages acceptance of disability. We value the importance of creating an environment where parents network, socialise and support each other along by bringing together different communities.

Autism Independence has a team of passionate staff who all have lived experience of Autism.

Together they support families in Bristol so that young people with Autism are empowered to live their fullest, most independent life.