Autism spectrum condition
Autism spectrum disorder is now recognised by the Royal College of Psychologists as autism spectrum condition (ASC). It is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how someone communicates and relates to other people and make sense of the world around them.
There are areas of difficulty that people with autism may share including:
- social communication
- social interaction
- restricted and repetitive behaviours
- sensory processing differences.
Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may also have learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support.
How to get an assessment or diagnosis
If you have concerns or you suspect that your child may have ASC you should speak with your school or educational setting first and also your health visitor or GP.
Where to get support
There are many services both locally and nationally to support you and your child including:
- Kent Autistic Trust
- National Autistic Society
- Autism Links
- Ambitious About Autism
- Autism All Stars
- Better Autism
- Cygnet Parenting Support Programme
- Parenting Support Programmes run by the National Autistic Society
In 2019, Healthwatch UK (an independent organisation set up to champion the views of patients and social care users across Kent), wanted to hear about the difficulties families face when accessing support for their children who may be autistic. They wanted to explore the issues in more detail and gather more feedback about services for children and young people who have autism. Read their report to learn what they found during their investigation.