Signposting - Health & wellbeing - Specific conditions - Autism & Asperger Syndrome


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Section: Signposting

Subsection: Signposting - Health & wellbeing - Specific conditions

Autism & Asperger Syndrome

"Autism and Asperger syndrome are both part of a range of related developmental disorders known as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). They begin in childhood and last through adulthood." (NHS Choices)

The Wiltshire Autism Information Pack

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The WPCC first developed its Autism Information Pack in 2013 in an effort to make it easier for families of autistic children and young people to connect to relevant information and support. After some years, the pack we had developed began to become obsolete as services and information changed over time, so the WPCC set about re-writing this pack. After several years’ hard work by a small team of dedicated volunteer parent carers, we are delighted to announce that the new WPCC Autism Information Pack is now finished and available to view.

The original Autism Information Pack was 72 pages long. Replicating the layout of our original pack and breaking information down into age related sections, our new pack comes in at 212 pages of information! Due to funding, we had to make the decision to publish this new pack in a digital format. Additionally, because both local and national services change so frequently and need updating regularly, a digital format is easier to do this.

To see the new WPCC Autism Information Pack, please click: [Autism Pack].

The pack is also available as a pdf file.

WiltshireAutism Assessment Service (WAAS) Monthly Email Newsletters

If you have a child on the diagnostic pathway with the Wiltshire Autism Assessment Service, you can now sign up for the WAAS monthly email newsletters which contain signposting, advice, new resources and service updates.

To sign up, please email the Single Point of Access (SPA): with your details and preferred email address.

Support, Information and Resources for Parent Carers of Autistic Children and Young People

The Autism Central website aims to make it easier to learn more about autism and services available to help. Autism Central is a peer education programme, commissioned by NHS England.

Information on the Autism Central website includes lots of resources such as eating disorders (including ARFID), exclusions from school, co-occurring conditions, masking, leaving school, school anxiety, self-harm and much more.

Visit the [Autism Central website] to find out more.

NHS Staff Autism Training becomes Law

Measures to ensure all NHS staff receive training in learning disabilities and autism now have the full force of the law behind them. The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism programme has received royal assent.

You can find out more [HERE].

The Wiltshire Autism Hub

Wiltshire Service Users’ Network ([WSUN]) was formed in 1991 by people who use health and social services, to promote user involvement and support people to have a voice.

Their Wiltshire Autism Hub Service can provide information and support to Autistic adults across Wiltshire (aged 18+). The three-year project (which started in January 2020) is funded by the National Lottery through the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Main areas of support:

  • Mentoring – One to one support to navigate life in a neuro-typical world, this can be particularly important at times of transition such as going to university, change of relationships, moving house or starting a job.
  • Post-diagnostic support, which will include working with other organisations
  • Peer Support –This will be provided by other people with an Autism Spectrum Condition and who have lived experience
  • Signposting and information
  • Support with claiming benefits, and with challenging benefits decisions
  • Autism awareness training for frontline staff and employers – delivered in partnership with autistic people
  • Independent Travel training –Support is tailored to the individual and will take the form of one to one support by way of a travel supporter. The travel supporter will accompany the person on the journey of their choice until they become confident.
  • They can work on skills like planning a journey, road safety, telling the time, using money or a bus pass and help to build confidence.
  • Support Groups
  • Counselling

If you would like more information about these services or you would like to refer someone for support, please contact WSUN office on 01380 871800 or email them on

What To Do If You Think Your Child Has Autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects:-

  • How a person communicates and relates to other people
  • How they experience the world around them
  • Social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour

The common behaviours of autism may be detectable at an early age, however these behaviours often don’t show themselves until an aspect of the child’s life changes, for example when the child goes to nursery or primary school or moves to secondary school.

If you think your child might have autism, the information in these links might help you:-

[What to do if you think your child has autism]

[What will happen if your child is assessed for autism?]

Wiltshire Autism Information

This new Facebook page aims to keep everyone updated on news on events for Autistic adults and children across Wiltshire and neighbouring areas. Simply search Facebook for 'Wiltshire Autism Information' to find it. If you'd like to share an event, please message the page directly or email

Find out more about Helen Eaton and the training/services she provides: [Helen Eaton]

Virgin Care Autism Diagnostic Pathway – A Pilot Project

Virgin Care Wiltshire Community Services are developing an Autism diagnostic pathway as part of their transformation plan. The pathway will offer families a single named clinician to guide them through the process of being assessed for, and possibly being diagnosed with Autism. They are introducing the new pathway which will reduce waiting times for assessment and diagnosis.

The new pathway has been developed by Virgin Care’s clinicians and will be a new model of working where the Autism Specialist will be the key professional involved. The pathway will provide one coordinated service for the diagnosis of autism. It is an assessment only pathway with advice provided to families to help them access the support needed to meet the needs of their child.

Until January 2019 they will be trialling the new pathway and at the end of this period the pathway will be rolled out across Wiltshire. Children and young people seeking an Autism assessment should continue to be referred to the Community Paediatrician team through the SPA (Single Point of Access – details below).

Information will be gathered from a number of sources and parents / carers will be asked for consent for the Autism team to share the child’s information relating to the assessment for Autism. This could include seeking information from colleagues outside of Virgin Care such as Education (School staff / Local Authority services), CAMHS, Social Care. It may also include the child being discussed at multi agency meetings including staff from these groups in order to ensure that they coordinate services appropriately.

Any queries can be directed to Claire Galloway, Professional Lead for Children with Developmental Disorders using the SPA contact details below.

SPA Team
Virgin Care
Wilshire Community Services
First Floor Technology House
Unit 10
Highpost Business Park

telephone: 0300 2470090 email: website:

Click here to take a look at the Pilot ASD Pathway Flow Chart.

NHS Choices web page

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The NHS Choices website is packed with useful information about autistic spectrum disorders, including autism and Asperger syndrome.

To find out about types of ASD, how to care for someone with the disorder, and how to get the right carer support, visit the web page.

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Under 19s: Recognition, Referral and Diagnosis – NICE Guidance

This guideline covers recognising and diagnosing autism spectrum disorder in children and young people from birth up to 19 years. It also covers referral. It aims to improve the experience of children, young people and those who care for them.

In December 2017, evidence was reviewed and as a result, ADHD was added as a factor associated with an increased prevalence of autism. See [NICE Guidance]

Ambitious About Autism Publish ‘Know Your Normal’ Toolkit

If you are an autistic person, or you know an autistic person who wants to help people around them understand what their normal is, this tool could help. The ‘know your normal’ tool allows you to describe what your normal looks like, things such as how much sleep you get, how much time you spend on your interests and hobbies and how this makes you feel, so that if this changes, it’s easier to explain to people who may not understand your autism that something feels different. Click [HERE] to download your copy of the toolkit.

Autism Resource Packs in G.P. Surgeries

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGPs) and Research Autism, have co-produced and distributed an Autism Resource Pack for every GP Surgery.

Resource packs to support GPs and their teams to make their surgeries more visibly friendly for patients on the autism spectrum have been sent to every GP practice in England. The packs, developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), aim to support GP practices to meet the commitments in the RCGP Autism Patient Charter, which provides a framework for making GP surgeries more visibly friendly for those on the Autism Spectrum. The packs have been developed by the College in collaboration with a number of organisations including Research Autism, who co-produced the Autism and Primary Care leaflet, and Autism Alliance UK, who co-produced the Autism Patient Charter. The pack also contains information from Newcastle University about two National Autistic Spectrum disorders research projects.

Resources in the pack include; a guide for patients on the Autism Spectrum to help them get the most out of their GP visit, and a guide for GPs to effectively support consultations with patients on the Autism Spectrum. Dr Carole Buckley, who is Clinical Champion for Autism at the College and a member of the Research Autism Scientific and Advisory Committee, said: “I am delighted the RCGP, Research Autism, the Autism Alliance and other organisations have come together to produce this resource pack. As a GP in partnership in Bristol, and as a mother of a son on the Autism Spectrum, I know just how valuable this pack will be. Primary care staff need to know more than just the medical facts about Autism, they also need to know the best way to provide the right kind of support to patients on the Autism Spectrum and their families."

You can read the RCGPs press release [here] and more information about Autism as a clinical priority [here]. You can visit Research Autism's site for primary care staff and download useful resources [here].

Wiltshire Libraries - Resources relating to Autism and Asperger Syndrome

Wiltshire Libraries across the county have many books and DVDs relating to Autism and Asperger Syndrome. [Click here] to see what's available.

Carers are entitled to a carers category library card. This means you can have books for six weeks instead of the usual three week loan and request Wiltshire library stock free of charge. If you are already a library member ask a member of staff next time you are in the library to update your card. Requests for stock can be placed by visiting the library or browsing their online catalogue.

I am Autistic Card

Many members of the public don’t understand autism and how things they take for granted might cause difficulties for people on the spectrum. This card is a great way for you to let them know you are autistic and that you may need some extra time or help in certain situations.

For more information about the card, visit the website or [download the card here].

The Curly Hair Project - Autism Alert Cards

Take a look at the Curly Hair Project and the Autism Alert cards they have created: [Autism Alert Cards]

Understanding Autism e-learning package

Wiltshire Council have funded some informative and compelling e-learning packages on a number of subjects relevant to parent carers, including Understanding Autism.

To find out how you can log in and study the package for free, see our Kwango e-learning article in the Family Support section.

Relaxed performances at the Salisbury Playhouse

Salisbury Playhouse Relaxed Performances are specially designed for people who are on the autistic spectrum or have learning difficulties.

For more information and to find out about the latest relaxed performance, click here.