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What to do if you think your child might have autism?

Some children may have symptoms or behaviours which may resemble autism but could be happening because of a different reason. These could be things like a response to trauma, learning difficulties, mental health difficulties or sensory processing difficulties.

If you have concerns about your child there are lots of professionals you could talk to, including:

  • school e.g. teacher, SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) or school health nurse
  • early education setting e.g. nursery or childminder
  • GP
  • health visitor

What might happen?

The professional you talk to might point you in the direction of a variety of things like a group for parents that may help you to better understand your child's behaviour. There are also activities and clubs that your child could attend to meet people who are similar to them.

A professional might refer you to the Umbrella Pathway (opens in a new window). This is a process for assessing and diagnosing neuro-developmental disorders, including autism spectrum conditions.

Not all children who are referred will be accepted on to the Umbrella Pathway and those who are accepted may not receive a diagnosis.