Frequently asked questions

No. There is no cure for autism but there are many things that can help improve quality of life for both the person with autism and their families.

You should start by visiting your GP who can refer you on for a diagnosis. If you cannot get help that way then the NAS website does have lists of private clinics who may help but you will have to pay for this.

There are a number of clues you may notice, being slow to talk or not talking at all, being very anxious, not playing in the way you might expect, appearing to be in their ‘own world’, repeating everything you say but not conversing, hating changes, scared of loud noises or of bright lights or strong smells, wanting lots of tight hugs, not wanting to be hugged at all….All MAY be signs of autism but may also be signs of lots of other things or just part of the different ways children develop. If you are worried go and talk to your GP or health visitor but do ask for help.

No. Autism is a lifelong condition but that does not mean someone with a diagnosis cannot go on to have a happy and fulfilled life.

That very much depends on the school and on the child. For some children mainstream school works with good support. However it is important to think about the child’s social life as well as their academic life and you need to make sure there are supports in place at breaks and lunch time and that your child knows where to go if they are feeling anxious or overloaded. Some special schools are excellent and have specific groups for children with autism. There are some autism specific special schools in the state, voluntary and private sector.

Yes. Many adults with autism work. It is all about finding what they are interested in, what they would like to do and are able to do and then ensuring the right support. All job centres have disability specialists who can advise and there are autism specialist employment support services. It may help to do some voluntary work first as an introduction to the work environment and we offer supported volunteering in London.

Yes, although they may need support. Everyone is different but adults with autism have as much right to independence as anyone else. Finding the right accommodation can be difficult but that does not mean it is impossible.

Flapping of hands and other kinds of movement may be very important to your child and how he or she controls their environment. If the actions are not hurting them or anyone else it might be best to ignore them and see if you can identify why they flap and if something is making them anxious. It is much better to find out the cause of different behaviours than just to try and stop them as they may just replace them with something more harmful or difficult.

It is important to talk to as many providers as you can to get the best for your money. There are brokers who should be able to help you but if not then see if this Resources for Autism website provides any services that interest you and do the same on the NAS website. It is important to get carers who are autism trained if possible.

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