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Autism is part of the autism spectrum and is sometimes referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

This short video explains how some children with autism see and hear the world.

If your child lives within Derby city and you have concerns or you suspect that they may have autism spectrum disorder, you should speak with:

  • education provider
  • child’s GP
  • health visitor

Children do not need a diagnosis of any condition to get support at school. Your child’s school must do its best to give your child the support they need.

Derbyshire Healthcare Trust has more about the support available to children and young people living in Derby and South Derbyshire who need an assessment for a neurodevelopmental condition. The Neurodevelopmental Pathway is a specialist service responsible for the assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In the first instance, ask your doctor for information about local services and support.

You can come along to one of the Children's centre autism drop-ins run by staff champions. There you will be able to meet with and talk to other parents with children with a diagnosis, an Autism Champion and parent volunteers.

Children’s Centre staff will be able to provide you with a list of services and agencies, both local and national, that provide advice and support for parents and children and young people themselves with Autism. When you visit the drop-in, ask for a 'parent pack' and someone will go through the information with you in person.

SENDIASS offers free confidential, impartial advice and support to parents, children and young people up to the age of 25 about Special Education Needs and Disabilities as well as guiding you through the SEND processes and procedures.

To find out more about the support that SENDIASS offers, telephone 01332 641414 or email SENDIASS@derby.gov.uk.

To help you keep a record of your child’s condition, we have created three useful toolkits that you can go through with your child. Simply select pages that you think are relevant to your child. You do not need to fill out every page.

These pages can be taken to your GP or shown to your health visitor as evidence of your concerns. They can be used just to gauge how your child is feeling on a particular day. We understand that as parents, you meet a lot of people to discuss your child’s needs and often have to repeat information.

Here is a selection of autism blogs:

  • If you’re a parent struggling to come to terms with a new diagnosis of autism, then Starlight and Stories is the blog for you.
  • In The Autism Dada blog, Sean shares his experience of being a dad in an autism family. 
  • Someone’s Mum reminds us of the full, fabulous family life that’s still possible after a diagnosis of autism. 
  • Purple Ella is an autistic mum with two autistic children. She is fascinated by autism, and passionate about helping to support people on the spectrum.
  • Grace Liu is a multi-talented autistic writer, illustrator, musician and cat lover! Grace writes her own blog, Unwritten Grace.

People with autism have some very positive traits.

They are often: 

  • highly creative with innovative ideas
  • less materialistic and constrained by social expectations 
  • passionate with brilliant memories
  • rarely caught lying or judging others
  • very good with attention to detail
  • not hiding any agendas
  • honest and trustworthy
  • living in the moment. 
  • Sumita Majumdar
  • Greta Thunberg
  • Chris Packham
  • Jessica-Jane Applegate
  • Albert Einstein
  • Emily Dickinson
  • James Durbin
  • Talia Grant
  • Guy Martin
  • Tim Burton
  • Susan Boyle
  • Steve Jobs
  • Daryl Hannah
  • Heather Kuzmich
  • Bill Gates
  • Ladyhawke
  • Niall Aslam
  • Anne Hegerty
  • Iqra Babar