Autism support and diagnosis

Before you request an autism diagnosis, we recommend that you speak to:

Remember, autism is different for everyone. What happened to other people might not be the same for you or your child.

If you or someone you know has difficulty in accessing online services, you can visit one of our:

NHS services

Before contacting your local NHS service you should contact your GP. They can provide you with additional guidance on who to speak to, for example children's health and wellbeing navigators.

The NHS website has a range of support and advice articles, including helping your child in their day to day life, appointment support, and moving from child to adult health services.

Autism support charities

There are national and local autism support charities that can help you. To find support for you and your family visit our community directory.

Our services

Being a carer can be physically and emotionally challenging, and it's important you have the opportunity to take a break from your caring role. There are lots of ways you can take what we call a 'short break' from caring. This could be for a few hours, overnight, a weekend or longer. The person you care for will be looked after in a supportive, safe environment and perhaps enjoy new activities while you take some time for yourself.  Find out more about:

If you would like to know more about autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children read our handbook for Kent families.

Support to help you understand autism

Sometimes it is hard to understand how someone may be feeling if they have autism, or if you as a parent or carer are unsure if they have autism.

The National Autistic Society has a range of support pages that can help you:

Here are also a few videos from other organisations that may help you.

A child or young person's view of autism:

  • My autism and me a BBC video Rosie, a 13 year old takes viewers into her world to explain what it's like to grow up with autism.
  • What is autism? a young person's representation of autism created by Fixers UK.
  • Make it stop a National Autistic Society video explaining how some children cope with overload of information.
  • Could you stand rejection? - a National Autistic Society video showing how young people with autism may feel when being interviewed for a job.
  • Autism explained for kids - a video created to help children understand autism through a puppet.
  • Marvelous Max - a cartoon with Marvelous Max explaining how children cope in school.

Understanding autism for parents and carers:

Request a diagnosis

Whilst your child can get most of the support they need without a diagnosis, requesting a formal autism diagnosis can mean that your child can access the right support, and get a clearer explanation why certain things are so difficult.

If you want your child to be referred to relevant support services, we suggest you contact your GP or education setting in the first instance.

While you wait for your diagnosis, any of the above organisations can help support you and your child at home.

Find out how to request a diagnosis.