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Autism (also known as autism spectrum disorder or ASD) is a lifelong condition. It affects how people communicate, relate to others and process information.

An autistic child or young person may see and understand the world differently to others. They may have

  • specific and passionate interests
  • unusual reactions to sensory input like smells, sensations or sounds
  • difficulties with friendships or relationships
  • difficulties with change or unfamiliar situations

The Sheffield Children’s NHS website has more information about autism.

Information Owner: Neurodevelopment Transformational Programme
Last reviewed: 06/07/2022

Autism assessment

If you feel your child may have autism, speak to a health professional involved in your child’s care. Professionals who can help you with a referral include:

  • GP
  • health visitor
  • paediatrician
  • speech and language therapist
  • psychologist

There is now a single point of access for all autism referrals in Sheffield: Autism support - Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust


What happens before, during and after an autism assessment

The Sheffield Children’s NHS website has information and advice about autism assessments:

Autism support

Across the city, there is a wide range of support for you including when you:

  • are waiting for an assessment
  • have an autism diagnosis
  • think you might value a little more help.


The Sheffield Children's NHS website has a range of resources and support. They have advice and links for specific areas your child may need help with.


Services and support for specific areas of need

Family Support Services

Parent/Carer Support Groups

Local support services for siblings

Short Breaks and Respite

Benefits and Finance

Parent/Carer Mental Health and Wellbeing


Activities and Sport


Some of the above information is available to view in an accessible, easy to understand format: Easy Read.

Additional information

Take a look at the autism mythbuster developed by parents and professionals. You can read common myths about autism and find resources.


National Autism Charities

National Autistic Society Provides support, guidance and advice for autistic people and their families. Families can access information on the website directly and your child does not need a confirmed diagnosis.

Ambitious about autism Provide information and guidance about understanding autism, behaviours, early years, education and transition to adulthood.


More on the local offer

The local offer has advice and services for families with children and young people with SEND (0 to 25 years). You can use filters to identify which services have experience with children and young people with autism. Here are some services listings which you may find useful:

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