Information for the public

Information for parents and carers

Information for parents and carers

Supporting you

Families and carers of children and young people with autism should be offered information about autism and about local and national organisations for families and carers. You should also be offered information about your right to a carer's assessment and about other support available to you (such as short breaks and other respite care). You may be offered breaks or respite care for a night or more if your child has sleeping problems that continue after the treatment described in sleeping problems. The autism team should discuss with you how regular the breaks should be.

The autism team should ask you about the personal, emotional, social and practical support you need to care for your child. The team should organise the support you need, including during periods of change, such as when your child starts a new school, or if you go on to have another child. The support you need may change as your circumstances change.

Helping you support your child

Your child may be offered a programme to help with specific problems that they may have in social situations and communicating with other people. If they are of pre-school age, you or a pre‑school teacher may be asked to be involved to help provide direct support. If they are of school age, this may take place in their school classroom with their classmates and you may also be involved to support them during the programme. If you are involved, you should be offered information, training and support in how to engage your child's attention and improve their communication with you and other people. If you and your child are not offered this programme, speak to a member of your autism team.

Your autism team can also help so that your child is able to stay in pre-school.

If your child also has anxiety (see Anxiety), they may be offered a psychological therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – you may be asked if you would like to be involved in the treatment sessions.

Questions for family members and carers to ask

  • Can you give me some information about autism, and the care and management options for it?

  • Is there anything in particular that I can do to support my child?

  • Can you give me any information about specialist support for parents and carers, such as helplines?

  • Who can I contact for help during a crisis?

  • Can I have a carer's assessment?

  • Information Standard