Autism spectrum condition
Autism is a lifelong developmental condition which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. It is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways.
Each Autistic person has their own strengths and difficulties. For example, in a pre-school child you may notice differences in play, delays in language and difficulties interacting with their peers. In older children and young people they may have difficulties forming lasting friendships, need longer to process language or have difficulty understanding facial expressions. They may engage in repetitive behaviours, find unexpected changes distressing or suffer with sensory overload.
Autism Central is a new programme commissioned by NHS England. It aims to help families and carers learn more about autism, and the support available to them by signposting to useful resources and learning.
Further information is available on the National Autistic Society website.
If you feel your child or teenager may be on the autism spectrum, please speak to your health visitor or school special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) to discuss your observations and ask support in seeking referral to the neurodevelopmental assessment team.
If your child or teenager needs support with their language and communication a referral to Dorset Speech and Language Therapy can be made.