This section contains lots of information about autism, including what is autism, the diagnosis process, after diagnosis, Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and external resources. We have separated the information into sub-categories to make it easier for you to find the relevant information unique to your circumstances. Please see the different information below or under 'In this Section'.
- Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism
- Autism after Diagnosis
- Autism and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
- Additional Support for Children and Young People with Autism
What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong, developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.
Children can be diagnosed at any age, though often it is more likely to be diagnosed when they are slightly older and are at school or even as an adult, especially if they don't have any learning disabilities.
Some of the most common signs of autism are:
- Not drawing their parents attention to objects or events they see, for example when reading a book or noticing a plane in the sky;
- Engaging in activities in certain ways, such as playing the same game in the same way repeatedly;
- Difficulty handling changes in routine;
- Finding social interactions and communication difficult;
- Behaviour such as biting, pinching, kicking, self injury or pica (putting inedible things in their mouth).
It is worth noting that this is not a complete list, children can present with none of the above and/or other behaviours. If you have concerns about your child's behaviour speak to a professional listed on the 'Assessment and Diagnosis of autism' page.
For more information, the National Autistic Society have lots of useful information on their website: https://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is.aspx
Autism is sometimes referred to as Asperger's, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).
There are several sources of support available to you before, during and after your child's diagnosis:
- SEND Partnership Service
- B&NES Carers Centre
- Specialist Autism Support Service (SASS) at Fosseway School
See the list of Groups and Services in the documents section for more.
ASD Info Wales and Cardiff University have created this really helpful film about spotting the signs of autism. Although it is aimed at professionals, it can also be interesting for parents/carers to watch. (just skip the first 30 seconds).
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