Helpful resources for parents awaiting an Autism assessment

What can I and my family do to make day to day functioning easier?

Adapting the environment to help support people with autism and neurodiversity is important. Parents/carers, teachers, professionals and anyone coming into contact with autistic people can use the SPELL framework:

  • Structuring time for autistic people can help to make the world more predictable and less anxiety provoking.
  • Being positive including setting goals and taking a positive approach is important for Autistic people.
  • Being empathic and trying to understand the world from that person’s point of view, is important in supporting autistic people .
  • Trying to create a low arousal sensory environment and being attuned to individual’s sensory needs can help autistic people.
  • Fostering and maintaining good links between families and the community are important for autistic people.Family Support

Parents/carers may wish to attend a parent group such as Cygnet. They can access this through the Early Help team or the Barnados website on the links below:


Early Help



Parents/Carers can contact Kent Autistic Trust to investigate the support, which is available to parents locally. Kent Autistic Trust

The National Autistic Society website is an excellent resource for children, young people and their families. National Autistic Society


NELFT Services

Autism Psychoeducation Workshops

We run regular psychoeducational autism workshops with our clinicians which aim to provide information for parents/carers around a range of topics relating to Autism. For example, sessions may focus around sleep, anxiety, or behaviour.  All our workshops take place online via Microsoft Teams and run from 12:00 to 13:00pm.

Our upcoming workshops are:

  • 17 June 2024, 12:00-1:00pm - Understanding Autism
  • 15 July 2024, 12:00-1:00pm - Behaviour

Autism Drop-in Clinics

We also run regular autism drop-in clinics which offer an opportunity for parents/carers to come and ask clinicians any questions regarding support available in the local community. We are also joined by members of the local community including IASK and KCC who are able to answer more specific questions relating to their background. All our drop-in clinics take place online via Microsoft Teams and run from 10:00 to 11:30am.

Our upcoming drop-in clinics are:

  • 10 June 2024, 10:00-11:30am

If you are interested in attending one of our workshops or drop-ins please contact us on . We can provide information about upcoming sessions and add you to the invite list.

Information for children/young people

Parent/carers may in time wish to complete their own learning and research about Autism. There are a number of authors who write about this subject from the perspective of autistic people. For example, environmentalist Greta Thunberg has advocated for greater understanding of neurodiversity, as has naturalist Chris Packham. Documentaries by Chris Packham can be found on BBC IPlayer.


I am a young person and I am having an autism assessment, what does this mean?

Autism is a difference in how people think and behave, it is to do with how people understand and communicate with other people, the to and fro of communication between people and special interests, habits and sensory needs.  Everyone’s brain works in a different way. Having a unique way of seeing the world can help us contribute something different to our family, school and community.

The assessment has 2 parts:

  1. Your parent/carer will be asked information about you
  2. You will come to an appointment and we will get to know you and how you communicate and interact. There will be a series of activities, games, puzzles and talking, which you will complete with the facilitator.

We try and record the assessments to help us to write reports and to make sure we are completing them correctly. You can choose whether you want us to record it. The assessors will try and learn all about you and at the end of the process they will try and give people information about how to help support you.

Including the young person in the journey

It is important that the child or young person consents to having an autism assessment and feels able to consider whether they would like to complete this. It can be helpful for young people to know the following information:


Some of the advantages of a diagnosis may be:

  • Understanding your strengths and difficulties
  • Other people being aware of what you struggle with so they can adapt the environment to your needs
  • Getting help at school should be based on your needs not having a diagnosis but having a word to describe your difficulties can help other people to understand you.
  • This can help you to ask for reasonable adjustments, which can mean help at college, university and in employment

Some of the challenges of the assessment and a diagnosis may be:

  • Completing an assessment can be stressful. We can help to support you through this process but some people find it difficult and it is important you are aware of this.
  • This is a life-long diagnosis, autistic people can achieve amazing things but there are still some institutions, such as the army which have rules around enlisting.
  • No label can fully describe a person’s strengths and difficulties
  • If you receive a diagnosis you may have to declare it if you are applying for things as an adult, for example, if you want to borrow money to buy a house.

Having a diagnosis does not change you as a person, some people find that it helps them to feel understood and find like-minded people. Other people feel that it has not led to changes that they wish to see. We would encourage you to talk to your family about the assessment and make sure you would like to proceed.

  • For more information about autism please see:
  • If you need any help and support with the assessment please let us know beforehand.
  • If you do not wish to have the assessment please talk to your parents/carers.
  • If you have any questions please contact us on .
  • Autism Understood is a website specifically for young people to learn about this difference. You can access this at the following link: Autism Understood



We recommend that you talk to your child’s school about your concerns and see what can be put in place to adapt the environment for your child as soon as possible. Educators may wish to use Autism specific strategies to help to promote development of social skills and alleviate any social difficulties. Strategies such as having social skills groups and buddies and mentors may also be beneficial in promoting peer interaction.  


Parents/carers and educators may wish to use autism specific strategies to help to promote development of social skills and alleviate any social difficulties. Strategies such as having social skills groups and buddies and mentors may also be beneficial in promoting peer interaction. Psychologist Jed Baker has developed some excellent resources to help develop children’s social skills and emotional regulation skills. The Talkabout books are also excellent resources. Parents/carers can contact the Information Advice and Support IASK if they have any concerns regarding his/her educational needs or placement: I Ask


Safety and mental health


If there are concerns regarding your child or young person’s emotional well-being, mental health, or  if you have immediate concerns call 0800 011 3474, NHS 111, Option 2, or 999 in an emergency.

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, please access help and support available to children and young people through Children and Young People’s Services.