Autism support and diagnosis

Support for you and your child

Before you request an autism diagnosis there are many support groups and charities available. These services can help you before, during and after your diagnosis.

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

If you have any difficulties in accessing any of the online services, you can visit one of our children centres, youth hubs or libraries where a member of staff can support you.

NHS services

You should support your GP before contacting any of the NHS services available, as they will can provide you with additional guidance on who to contact.

NHS support

National autism support charities

Local support

Trouble sleeping support

For support around sleep you can:

Our support services

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

Alternatively you can contact local groups, charities and support networks that on our local online directory.

Videos 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. Here are a few videos that may help you:

  • "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.
  • "Can you watch to the end?" a National Autistic Society video which explains how some autistic children may see and hear the world.
  • "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.

Studies of autism in Kent

In 2019, Healthwatch spoke with families accessing support for their children who may be autistic to explore the issues they face. As a result of this they have recommended a number of actions supporting schools, families and professionals. Read the full report.

Request a diagnosis

Requesting a formal autism diagnosis can mean that your child can access the right support, alongside a clearer explanation as to why certain things are so difficult.

However, the majority of support your child can receive can be provided without a diagnosis.

We recommend that while you wait for your diagnosis, you contact any of the support organisations to help support you and your child at home. Alternatively you can contact your GP for support in your child's diagnosis.

Find out how to request a diagnosis.