What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Autism is a spectrum condition meaning that it affects people in different ways.
People with autism can still make friends, go to college, gain employment and do other things just like their peers. They might need extra support along the way but are still able to lead happy and fulfilled lives.
How may it affect my child?
Children and young people with autism are more likely to need support in some areas including:
- understanding social interaction
- understanding verbal and non-verbal clues
- strategies for individual sensory differences
- help with emotional regulation and anxiety
- help to think flexibly and cope with changes
How do I know if my child has autism?
There is no simple medical ‘test’ for autism. If you think your child has autism you may choose to contact your health visitor, GP or the SENCO in your child's school. You may want to discuss getting a diagnosis for your child with your GP. Information on how this is carried out can be found on the National Autistic Society diagnosis pages and NHS website.
Help for you and your child
It can be scary being told that your child has Autism but you’re not alone!
The National Autistic Society website provides information for Autistic people, their families and carers. The Autism Education Trust works to promote positive experiences in education and has lots of resources and advise for parents. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust Autism Space is a free and safe online area providing clear, reliable and accessible advice and information about autism related topics – as well as a directory of support services available in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR).
In Rutland, you can get support through the monthly ASD Parent Support Group where you can meet other parents and get advice from professionals. You should also speak to your child’s school Senco who can discuss what support can be provided at school throught the Autism inclusion service to help your child to learn. If your child sometimes struggles to join in activities and group with their peers, you may consider getting involved with Aiming High or the Rutland Rotaract Family Support Centre.