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Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read

Autism | Support for professionals

Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read

Article Autism

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disability that affects how people communicate, understand and interact with the world around them. In Scotland around 1 in every 100 people has autism.

Signs a child might have autism

It can be hard to pick up on the signs of autism in young people, especially if it is undiagnosed.

Sign that a child you are working with might have autism include:

  • Not making eye contact (not common in girls)
  • Difficulties in social interaction, preferring to work or play on their own
  • Struggles with noisy or busy environments
  • Difficult to engage in topics outside of their interest
  • Finds transitioning from one thing to the other difficult
  • Girls with autism can mask their symptoms, they may copy or mimic other girls behaviours how they interact

Supporting a young person with autism

Each young person with autism is individual, which means their support needs to be individualised. It’s important to speak to them and if appropriate their families to understand what reasonable adjustments you can make to support them.

Common reasonable adjustments include:

  • Having appointments earlier or later in the day when it is less busy
  • Keeping appointments or regular meetings to the same time
  • Allowing more time to process information
  • Using easy read or picture to support communication
  • Being understanding that small disruptions can feel big for someone with autism
  • Allowing them to carry out repetitive movements or tasks to help reduce anxiety or aid their processing of information
  • Adapt the environment to reduce sensory overload; reduce bright lights, background noise etc

Get Help now

If you are concerned about your mental health, or if you have found yourself feeling concerned about someone else, you can:

Call 111 – NHS 24

Call 116 123 – The Samaritans

Call 0800 83 85 87 – Breathing Space

Text: ‘YM’ to 85258 – Young Minds crisis chat

If you think you are in danger of hurting yourself or other people, you should call 999 or present to your local A&E department.