Information for the public

Other medical and mental health problems

If you also have a medical or mental health problem as well as autism, you should be offered treatment as recommended by NICE (for more information see the Other NICE guidance section).


If you get very anxious (you can't stop worrying and feel scared), you may be offered a psychological therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT for short). You may have CBT either as part of a group of children or young people with autism, or on your own. Your parents or carer may be involved in the treatment too.

Speech, language and communication problems

If you have problems talking to, communicating with or understanding other people, a member of the autism team can help you or will find someone who can help. You should not be offered procedures called neurofeedback or auditory integration training to help you with speech, language and communication problems.

Sleeping problems

If you have problems getting to sleep at night, staying asleep or you feel sleepy during the day, you should be offered an assessment to look at what might be causing the problem. The assessment may include looking at where you sleep, any medication you are taking or other problems you may have. Your parents or carers will work with the autism team to make a plan to help you to sleep better at night. You should not be offered medication unless the sleeping problem continues or is affecting your life. If you take medication for a sleeping problem it should only be started after you have seen a paediatrician or psychiatrist who is an expert in autism or in sleep medication, and you should continue to follow the sleep plan. The team should check regularly to see whether the medication is still helping you. If you still have problems sleeping, or you snore loudly, choke or seem to stop breathing while asleep, you should be offered an appointment with a specialist.

You should not be offered a substance called an omega\u2011\3 fatty acid for a sleeping problem.

Questions about treatment for other problems

  • Can I have treatment for other problems as well as for autism?

If you are taking medication for another problem you might like to ask:

  • How long will I have to take the medication?

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

  • Might I have problems when I stop taking the medication?

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