Autism: National advice resources

Children, young people and families that are experiencing mild or temporary difficulties or are adjusting to life circumstances may benefit from access to appropriate advice without needing to seek help or more help.

Children, young people and families experiencing chronic, fluctuation or severe difficulties where they are currently able to manage their own health and/or are on the road to recovery may benefit from access to appropriate advice without needing to seek help or more help.

Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviours and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.

Getting the right support in early can help to improve a child or young person’s quality of life. There is a range of support and advice available prior to diagnosis that can support with some of the symptoms that affect how a child lives day-to-day. The following resources focus on autism generally and can help you understand and cope with some of the difficulties that arise with this condition.

National Autistic Society (NAS) are the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger’s syndrome) & their families. They provide info, support services & campaign for a better world for people with autism. Their directory also allows you to search local and national services and support available to people with autism, their families and people who work with them. They also have resources on what autism is.

Child Autism UK provide a helpline for parents and carers of children with autism. They also provide services to enable children to overcome difficulties with communication, learning and life skills and give families the techniques and strategies to Child Autism UK also provides training and a network for ABA professionals working with young children.

Action for Aspergers is a UK-wide registered charity that caters for all ages aged 3 years and upwards providing autism-specialist counselling for lives that have become adversely affected by the experience of autism and Asperger’s syndrome. 

Asperger’s Syndrome Foundation is committed to promoting awareness and understanding of Asperger’s Syndrome. The Foundation aims to promote high quality support and services, and to enable people with Asperger’s Syndrome to develop into members of the community who are respected for their contribution and recognised for their unique differences. 

Autism Initiatives provides a range of person centred services throughout the UK. The charity provides services to children and adults, and encompasses education, residential houses, supported living and outreach services. 

Autism Speaks’ goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. They are an American based charity and so their local support offers are not available to individuals in the UK however, they do provide a range of resources on their website for individuals with autism, as well as families, professionals that support people with autism.

The NHS England Transforming Care programme is about making health and care services better so that more people with a learning disability or both can live in the community, with the right support, and close to home. Their website provides information about what they do, how you can get involved, case stories and resources (including easy read guidance).

Ambitious about Autism have created a Right from the Start parent toolkit which includes lots of information about what to do if you think your child might have autism. They also have lots of other helpful resources on their website to support children, young people, families and professionals.

Thinking Autism is a charity that provides information and support to families and individuals affected by autism with the aim of improving quality of life and reducing disabling symptoms of autism.

  • They host a number of live events to support families. Local events provide people a chance to meet and exchange information and experiences with others. They often feature a talk by a local practitioner or parent.
  • Thinking Autism Roadshows generally feature three speakers, are free to members and offer a chance for participants to learn and socialize.
  • Our autism conferences, generally every two years, are in every way on a much larger scale than the Roadshows and feature international speakers.
  • We also offer our members live Facebook events which feature professional speakers from all over the UK and wider, who share information about various options for improving quality of life for people with autism. 

Research Autism The charity Research Autism no longer exists and therefore no longer funding new research. However you can still read about the projects undertaken by, or endorsed by, Research Autism.

The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. They have a range of articles and resources relating to autism.

Spectrum provide news and analysis of advances in autism research in and reader friendly format. They report on the context and impact of research findings and provide articles from experts in their fields on topics and areas that are of particular interest to their community.