Living with Autism

Autism or an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) can make everyday life challenging. The degree of difficulty this can add to a person’s life varies dramatically between individuals; some people with Autism live completely independently whereas others will require long term support.

However, as Autism is often characterised by reduced social awareness resulting in anxiety, some degree of support can be very useful in minimising the stress that people with Autism can experience.

Obtaining a Diagnosis

Because Autism affects how individuals interact with others and the world around them, it can be very difficult to diagnose.

Some people are diagnosed with Autism as children, but many more continue into adulthood not understanding why they seem different. Getting a diagnosis can be a difficult process, but finding out will not only allow individuals to easily access professional support but will also give people a clearer understanding of why they face the challenges they do. Legally, you can now ask for an assessment towards diagnosis if you feel that this is something that is worrying you.

The first step is to talk to your GP who should be able to refer you or your loved one to a specialist. If your GP doesn’t think you need to be referred, ask them to explain why, as this may reassure you or, if you don’t agree, you can always ask for a second opinion.

If you or a family member is referred to a specialist, you can find out more about local diagnostic services from the National Autistic Society website. The National Autistic Society also offers advice on what to do if you haven’t been referred but think you should be.

Autism Support Groups

There are a number of support groups, online forums and magazines that offer advice about Autism. These are run on a local, national or international level and can provide tips and techniques to help individuals cope with Autism or a means of discussing special interests and experiences with others in similar situations, there are also a number of groups for parents and family members.

There are a number of organisations and charities throughout the UK which provide support for people with Autism and their families; for example Autism West Midlands, which also has a number of family information sheets which offer detailed advice on a number of challenging subjects including education, issues with siblings and coping with challenging behaviour. The National Autistic Society will be able to direct you to key organisations in your area.

Education and Employment

Research suggests that just six percent of people with Autism are in full time employment in the UK. At Craegmoor we are committed to encouraging and supporting everyone to fulfil their goals. We support everyone, who wishes to, to access education or employment opportunities if these are available.

As part of the Priory Group, we can offer Specialist Colleges which can provide young adults with Autism the opportunity to develop independent social and vocational skills with access to work experience placements and nationally recognised qualifications. Living with Autism can be challenging, but there is always support available should you need it.

For further information on the full range of Craegmoor services, please call: 0845 277 4679.