Autism Pathway

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Autism Awareness - hints and tips

Tell me about autism services and support groups for children and adults with autism and their carers.

  • Guernsey Autism Framework

  • What is Autism?

    • Everyone who has an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) or Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is different.  Their individual challenges and needs, and the level of support they require, will vary greatly.
    • If you've met one person with Autism, you've only met one person with Autism.
    • Each individual will have different and specific challenges, but there are a number of areas in which many people with an ASC are likely to have some degree of difficulty.  These include:
    • Social communication
    • Social interaction
    • Social imagination (i.e. 'putting yourself in someone else's shoes)
    • Sensory difficulties
    • Autism is a neurological-developmental condition.  It is not uncommon for people with Autism to experience emotional health difficulties, especially anxiety.
    • Often the person who knows best what helps and what makes situations more difficult is the individual themselves, or those who support and care for them.
  • What is Asperger's Syndrome and PDA?

    • Asperger's Syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) are considered to be part of the autism spectrum.
    • Asperger Syndrome
      • Asperger syndrome is part of the autism spectrum condition. People with Asperger's syndrome can have fewer problems with language. They do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism, but they, may have specific learning difficulties.
    • Pathological demand avoidance (PDA)
      • Individuals with PDA share difficulties with others on the autism spectrum in social aspects of interaction, communication and imagination. However the central difficulty for people with PDA is the way they are driven to avoid demands and expectations. This is because they have an anxiety-based need to be in control.
  • Who is affected by Autism and what is the cause?

    • Who is affected by autism?
      • There are around 700,000 people in the UK on the autism spectrum.
      • People of all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can have autism.
      • More men are diagnosed than women. It is understood that women are more able to manage their social skills which makes diagnosis difficult.
      • It is a lifelong condition and children with autism grow up to be adults with autism.
      • In Guernsey it is believed there may be 1 in 100 people on the spectrum, either diagnosed or undiagnosed.
    • What causes autism?
      • The exact cause of autism is still being investigated.
  • Who do I talk to?

  • How do I get a diagnosis?

    • For a child:
      • For children under 5 years: Your GP or Health Visitor may refer your child to the Child Development Centre (CDC). The CDC will talk to you and assess your child through a multi-agency panel so that your child's assessment is thorough and the team the right information they need.
      • For children over 5 years a referral is made to the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Assessment Team (ASDAT). This can be either by your GP, speech and language therapist or school educational psychologist. Waiting times are lengthy but the team will keep you informed.
      • The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) will assess young people in secondary education for autism when appropriate if they have an existing mental health problem and are already being seen in the CAHMS service.
    • For an adult:
      • For a dual diagnosis for an individual with autism and a learning difficulty a referral is made usually by your GP to the Adult Disability Service for an assessment.
      • If autism only: currently there is no local diagnostic route. 
  • What happens after I have a diagnosis?

    • For children:
      • You may be referred to the following areas for support:
      • Autism Guernsey. Contact by phone: 01481 245272 or email: office@autismguernsey.org.gg
      • National Autistic Society (Guernsey Branch). Contact by phone: 01481 246025 or email info@nasguernsey.com
      • In Education the School Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) should initially be contacted
      • Support may be available from the Communication and Autism Support Services (CASS) graham.fisher@education.gg.
      • There are Primary and Secondary Communications Bases in mainstream schools with a Specialist Teacher providing support for learning and life skills that may be appropriate. graham.fisher@education.gg
      • College of Further Education also offers support to students as required
      • For Pre- School children parents are offered access to the EarlyBird Scheme.
    • For adults:
      • You may be referred to the following areas for support:
      • Autism Guernsey. Contact by phone: 01481 245272 or email: office@autismguernsey.org.gg
      • National Autistic Society (Guernsey Branch). Please contact 01481 246025. or email info@nasguernsey.com
      • Adult Disability Service: if the individual has autism and a learning difficulty. Please contact 01481 230000.
      • Mental Health Services; if the individual has autism and significant mental health issues.
  • Are there any benefits I may be entitled to?

  • Is there any support available for me to be able to access paid employment?

    • In preparation for work Base students may have enhanced additional support on work experience in Year 10.
    • Please see information in 'support into employment' by following this link.
  • If I need a short break is there anywhere I can go?

    • For children:
      • The Croft offers residential and outreach short breaks for children with autism and a learning difficulty
    • For adults:
      • Residential and outreach short breaks are available if an individual has autism and a learning difficulty 
  • Tell me what support groups are available and how to get in touch with them.

  • Tell me about independent and supported living accommodation

    • For information for children reaching 18 years old and adults with autism please follow this link.
    • Is there any support for carers who support an individual with autism?
    • Parent Carers drop in at the Guille-Alles Library. For more information please contact Autism Guernsey on 01481 245272. The National Autistic Society (Guernsey Branch) also provide informal support. Please contact them on 01481 246025.
  • Tell me about activities and groups that would be able to support my individual needs.

    • For more information please contact Autism Guernsey on 01481 245272 or National Autistic Society (Guernsey Branch) on 01481 246025.
  • What happens as I reach 18 years of age and begin to transfer to adult services?

    • Each of the services you are working with will talk to you about transferring services from children to adult services. This will happen at different times for each service.
    • If you are unsure what will happen to you as you are reaching the age of 18 years have a conversation with the person you are seeing in a particular service and ask them about transfer arrangements.
  • How can you help to make someone's experience positive and enjoyable?

    • Helpful tips and things to consider so that you can help to make a visit to your shop, facility, venue or business a more positive experience for people who have an Autism Spectrum condition or Asperger's Syndrome can be found on this page.