Autistic people may:
If you think you or your child may be autistic, get advice about the signs of autism.
If you or your child have signs of autism, the next step is to talk to someone about it.
You could speak to:
a health visitor (for children under 5)
any other health professional you or your child see, such as another doctor or therapist
special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) staff at your child’s school
Ask them about referring you or your child for an autism assessment.
An assessment is done by autism specialists. It’s the only way to find out if you or your child are autistic.
An autism assessment is where a team of autism specialists check if you or your child are autistic.
An assessment team may:
ask about any problems you or your child are having
watch how you or your child interact with other people
speak to people who know you or your child well, such as family, friends, your GP or your child’s teachers
At the end of the assessment, you’ll be given a report saying if you or your child are autistic.
People react to a diagnosis of autism in different ways.
For some, it’s a relief to find out why they or their child think, feel and act the way they do. For others, it can be a shock.
Try to give yourself time to come to terms with the diagnosis.
help and support is available
even if things are hard now, they can get better
you or your child are still the same person as before
autism is not an illness or disease with treatments or a “cure”
autistic people have things they’re good at as well as things they need help with
You might feel alone when you or your child are first diagnosed.
But there are places you can get support.
You can get help from:
local support groups
other autistic people or parents on social media and forums
your school, college or workplace
your local council
your GP or the autism assessment team that diagnosed you
Some people find it helpful to find out about other people’s stories of autism.
You could also search online for autism blogs, videos or books.
Remember, autism is different for everyone. What happened to other people might not be the same for you or your child.
Autism is not an illness. But many autistic people also have other conditions.
These are not always checked for during an autism assessment.
See a GP if you have any concerns about your or your child’s health. They can help you get any extra care you need.
It might help you and your family to find out more about autism.
There can be quite a lot to take in. You do not have to read everything.
You can get trusted information from:
National Autistic Society – for autistic children and adults, parents and carers
Ambitious about Autism – for autistic children and young people, and their families