Support for autistic people
What is autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability from birth. It affects social communication and interaction with the world. Autism affects people in different ways. There are some difficulties that autistic people may share but everyone is different.
- difficulties with social interaction
- difficulties with communication
- difficulties with social imagination (this includes things like working out ‘hidden rules’ of conversation, coping with change, or seeing things from other people’s point of view).
Like anyone, there are things autistic people are good at and things that might need a little extra support to do, that’s where we might be able to help.
If you think you or your child may be autistic, speak to your GP. Every GP Practice in Derby has been provided with a booklet which will help them to:
- make reasonable adjustments for autistic people
- decide who may need a diagnosis
- refer patients with diagnosed autism for support services.
Alternatively you can self-refer directly to the Trust. You can do this by contacting:
Autistic Spectrum Disorder Assessment Service
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
St Andrew’s House
201 London Road
Derby, DE1 2SX
Telephone: 0300 123 4574
Further information and advice can be found at Derby & Derbyshire - Emotional Health & Wellbeing, this includes useful links and advice pre and post diagnosis.
Post diagnosis support
Those with a diagnosis can access support from a number of places. Those with a diagnosis who ask for a care act assessment and who qualify for funded support will be referred for specialist support. Those who do not qualify for funded support will be signposted to local voluntary agencies specialising in autism and self-help groups where autistic people and family members offer advice, information and peer support.
Here are some links to local organisations:
The Autism Information and Advice Service provides information and support for autistic people, their families, friends and carers across Derbyshire and Derby City. The service is provided by Citizen’s Advice Mid-Mercia who also provide training and support to businesses and professionals in Derbyshire seeking to become more autism aware or support autistic employees. For more information, please visit the Autism Information and Advice Service website. Alternatively, you can telephone on 01332 228790.
Umbrella support autistic people up to the age of 30 to engage in social and leisure activities and provides services for all family members.
Ronnie MacKieth Centre
Royal Derby Hospital
Derby, DE22 3NE
Opening hours: 10am to 2.30pm
Telephone: 01332 785658
64 Birdcage Walk
Derby, DE22 4LD
Opening hours: 10am to 3pm
Telephone 01332 521229
Derbyshire Autism Services provide support to local autistic people and their families. For information on support available, please visit the Derbyshire Autism Services website.
Relate Derby and Southern Derbyshire has counsellors specifically trained in understanding Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Face-to-face appointments are available as well as appointments via telephone, LiveChat and email support.
Contact Relate for more details on 01332 349177.
A Relate Helpline for adults is available every Tuesday 10.30am to 4.30pm and Thursday 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
Speak direct to a counsellor on 0808 178 9363 (calls free from a landline) or there is a free LiveChat drop-in for adults which is available every Wednesday afternoon 2pm to 5pm.
The National Autistic Society (NAS) Autism Helpline provides impartial, confidential information, advice and support for autistic people, their families, professionals, researchers and students.
393 City Road
Telephone: 020 7833 2299
Helpline: 0845 070 4004 (Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm)
There is a national campaign, called STOMP, to reduce overreliance on medication for people with learning disabilities and/or autism. Further information can be found on their website www.england.nhs.uk/stomp
The My Care Directory can provide information on a range of services to support those living with disabilities including people with autism.
The directory is made up of organisations (for example, businesses, service providers and third sector organisations) that offer services in Derby City. (Their inclusion in the My Care Directory does not constitute a recommendation, advice or endorsement by the Council).
Care Act assessment
If you have a diagnosis of autism and would like an assessment, advice and information please contact us.
The social care worker will then carry out the assessment to find out what your needs are and what you want to achieve. They will work with you to plan how best to achieve this. For more information on the assessment, visit our assessment for adult social care page.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced some guidance on diagnosis and assessment for adults with autism.
Families and those who are unpaid carers of autistic people may also need support. A carer's assessment is an opportunity to discuss your needs as a carer and identify any support needs which link to a suitable plan to meet your needs. More detail about carers' support can be found in the carer's pages.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced some guidance on supporting adult carers including advice on carers assessments.
Derby and Derbyshire Autism Strategy
We have worked with Derbyshire County Council and the Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board to update the Joined Up Care Derbyshire All Age Autism Strategy. The Autism Strategy 2023-2028 was updated to take into consideration:
- The National Autism Strategy Guidance and its supporting guidance.
- Feedback from local autistic people and their families and the county-wide Autism Partnership Group.
- Information from the Derbyshire Transforming Care Partnership.
The Derby and Derbyshire Autism Partnership Board brings together autistic people, their parents, carers, local health and social care professionals and the voluntary sector to improve services for autistic people in Derbyshire and Derby city.
The partnership board meets four times each year and welcomes the views of autistic people and their families. For more information on the Autism Partnership Board or if you are interested in getting involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autistic people over 18 and their carers are also welcomed at the Derby City Learning Disability Partnership Board. The board meets four times each year and is made up of people with a learning disability, their carers, social care professionals and other local health and community services with the aim of working together to improve the lives of people with a learning disability in Derby city.
These are currently held both in person and online, if you are interested in getting involved, please email email@example.com. Please note, this email address is not always monitored however emails will be responded to as promptly as possible.