Autism is a lifelong condition which affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
Everyone with autism is different.
Some people with autism can find it hard to tell people how they feel and what they need.
Some find it hard to make new friends.
Some can find it hard to understand what other people think and how they feel.
There are some services that can be accessed without the need for a social care assessment such as:
We call these early help or prevention services and you can find out more about these in the information and advice section on this website.
Help at home
There are services that can support people to live at home. These include things like special equipment, telecare and help with personal care.
Getting out and about and making friends
We can help you to find out about social activities in your area, you can either look at our Derbyshire Directory which is a directory of things that are happening in your area, or you can contact our brokerage service that can help you find the services and activities in your area.
We have a getting out and about section on this website that has information about volunteering, befriending and day opportunities. Our disability employment service can also provide support if you want to find a job.
Moving into adult services (transition)
Transition is the period in your life when you change from being a child to an adult. If you are leaving school and have additional needs we can help with making plans for your transition into adulthood.
Caring for someone
If you care for someone who has autism, you can find out more about services that are available to you at Carers in Derbyshire (opens in a new window).
Supporting people with autism
- always explain what you are about to do and what is happening
- allow time for them to process what you have said (at least six seconds)
- check they have understood
- be prepared to repeat and rephrase what you have said
- ask direct, brief questions - questions about time and frequency are often difficult to understand
- they may give an answer they think you want to hear or repeat what you say, seeming to agree - check answers; ask again in a different way
- ask the person and/or their carer or advocate what support they might need
- be prepared to ask again at different stages
- use direct requests and check that the person has understood you, but avoid being patronising
- use concrete language (with accompanying pictures if necessary)
- do not rely on your gestures or body language
- people with autism can take what you say literally, so avoid metaphors, words with a double meaning and humour that may be misunderstood
- behaviour is how many people communicate how they are feeling and may be a coping mechanism
- repetitive behaviours and special interests may also be a way of coping and should be respected
- don't assume the behaviour is a result of the learning disability or autism
- bear in mind the person may be anxious
- routine and familiarity are important. Try to make life as predictable as possible (although people with autism may get bored like anyone else)
- social difficulties may include unusual body language and eye contact
- some people with autism have heightened sensitivity to light, noise and touch, so pay particular attention to the environment and physical contact
- keep the environment calm. Some people can't cope with busy areas.
The Derbyshire Autism Partnership Board is made up of local people with autism and organisations and professionals who work alongside people with autism. The Board worked together to create leaflets and posters to help other professionals, employers and anyone else with an interest to better understand autism. The leaflets and posters are attached to this page:
- understanding autism
- understating autism ageing
- understanding autism − employment
- top tips for communication with someone with autism (poster)
- small changes can make a big difference to someone with autism (poster).
You can download a copy, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to order printed copies.
There is also a leaflet called 'Understanding Autism − Training', however this leaflet is only available to download.
The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)
The following document is in PowerPoint format. You can download software to view PowerPoint presentations for free from the PowerPoint viewer page (opens in a new window) of the Microsoft website.
- Understanding Autism (178KB)
- Understanding Autism - Ageing (227KB)
- Understanding Autism - Employment (264KB)
- Understanding Autism - Training (317KB)
- Communication for partners of people with ASD (512KB)
- Children with ASD fact sheet (357KB)
- ASD impact on family (312KB)
- Finding, building and maintaining healthy relationships (293KB)
- How to be a great Autistic individual employer (1210KB)
- How to be a great personal assistant for someone with Autism (1922KB)
- How to do a great assessment for someone who has Autism (2753KB)
- My hospital passport - The National Autistic Society (672KB)
- My hospital passport guidance notes - The National Autistic Society (1174KB)
- Passport to individual autism support - The National Autistic Society (345KB)
- Top tips for communicating with someone with autism (1374KB)
- Small changes can make a big difference to someone with autism (40KB)
- Autism awareness presentation (187KB)
Also on our website
- Advocacy support in Derbyshire
- Derbyshire Handy Van service
- Mental health and wellbeing
- My child has autism
- The Care Act
Information on other websites
- The National Autistic Society (opens in a new window)
- Derbyshire Constabulary - Care Card (opens in a new window)
- Relate (opens in a new window)
- Research Autism (opens in a new window)
- Autism Awareness e-learning training (opens in a new window)
- Autism Act 2009 (opens in a new window)
- Autism Strategy (2014) (opens in a new window)
- Manchester Airport − Guide to travelling (opens in a new window)
- Autism hospital passport (opens in a new window)
- NICE Guidelines - Adult Autism (opens in a new window)
- Taking Mental Health Derbyshire (opens in a new window)
- Derbyshire Carers (opens in a new window)
- Derbyshire Community Health Service (opens in a new window)