Information for the public

Providing care and managing autism

Providing care and managing autism

You may be offered a kind of programme called a 'social-communication intervention'. This aims to help you communicate and interact with people and make social situations easier for you. Depending on your age, it may take place at school with your classmates, or with a parent, carer or teacher. Your autism team should organise support to help you cope with everyday situations that you may find difficult. It can also help you to stay in school or college, or help if you move to a new school, and, if you are older, find or stay in a job. You may find that you need different kinds of support at certain times.

Special diets that do not contain certain foods (such as gluten or casein) and medication (anticonvulsants, antidepressants and antipsychotics) should not be offered to treat the main signs of autism in children and young people. (However, you may be offered medication for other problems you may have – see Behaviour that challenges and Other medical and mental health problems. You may also be offered a special diet to help with problems other than autism.)

Treatments called 'hyperbaric oxygen therapy', 'secretin' or 'chelation' should not be offered to treat autism or any other problem associated with autism.

Questions about care and managing autism

  • Why have you offered me this type of care and management programme?

  • What does this type of care involve and how long does it last?

  • How will this type of care help me?

  • What are my options other than the recommended programme for autism?

  • What will happen if I choose not to have the recommended programme?

  • Is there more information about the care and treatment that I can have?

  • Why can I take medication to treat other problems but not autism?

  • Information Standard