What do I do if I think my child has autism?
If you suspect your child may have autism, and your child is in nursery or school, speak to
the SEN specialist member of staff (all nurseries and schools should have one) who may be
able to support you in the process.
Following this, it may be helpful to make an appointment to see your GP or health visitor.
Make some notes and take them along to your appointment with you. A diary of behaviours
and characteristics that you have observed that make you think your child may be autistic
will be useful, and this will help them to determine what next steps are best to take.
What are common autistic behaviours for a young child?
Some of the main signs that a child may be on the autism spectrum include:
• not drawing their parents’ or others’ attention to objects or events, for example pointing at a
toy or a book, or at something that is happening nearby (or a child may eventually do this,
but later than expected)
• carrying out activities in a repetitive way, for example always playing the same game in the
same way, or repeatedly lining toys up in a particular order
• resistance to change or doing things differently
• emerging difficulties with social interaction and social communication
• behaviour such as biting, pinching, kicking, pica (putting inedible items in the mouth), or self-injurious behaviour.
If your school or health professional think that your child may be autistic, they will refer them
to the relevant service for their age group