Autism or Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) is a term used to describe a group of lifelong, neurodevelopmental conditions marked by how a person with autism interacts socially, how they communicate and patterns of restricted, stereotyped or repetitive behaviour they may have. It is a lifelong neurological condition: people are born with it, do not grow out of it and it cannot be cured. It is a spectrum condition which means it presents differently in every autistic person.
While all people with autism share common traits, their condition will affect them in very different ways. People with high functioning autism (previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome) have average or above average intelligence and good language skills. Some may be able to function well in school or in the work place, but still have a hard time socialising. Others may find even daily tasks related to independence challenging.
Each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges and so the ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some individuals are able to live independent lives; others will require support at different times in their life and others a lifetime of specialist support.
Autism is not a learning disability or a mental illness. Autistic people can, however, have additional needs including learning disabilities and health and mental health conditions just like anyone else.
Local support groups can be found by using the search term 'COVID-19' in the search box at the top of the page.
Early Help Pathway
If you feel you might benefit from some support you can approach a health professional, school or nursery to ask about the Early Help Pathway.
You can find out more about Early Help on the Early Help pages.
The Peterborough Child Development Unit
The Peterborough Child Development Unit assesses and manages children (0-5 years) who live in Peterborough city or north Cambridgeshire who have significant problems with development.
This includes, children with communication difficulties including autism (but excludes pure visual or hearing impairment).
Referrals are accepted from GPs, social care and other professionals and organisations working with young children and families (eg Portage, Early Years Service) for children registered with a GP in Peterborough, Yaxley and Whittlesey. We also accept children who live in the Peterborough City Council area but who are registered with a GP in Stamford and Market Deeping.
The CAMH Integrated Neurodevelopmental Service can provide assessments of autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The service works with young people up to the age of 18, their families and professionals.
After diagnosis training is provided to parents and carers on the diagnosis given to their child. They can also provide specific interventions including medication if appropriate.
Treatment is provied to these children where there is also a mental health condition.
The service is provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).
The Autism Specialist Teacher Service (ASTS) is a school based service and works with children and young people aged 4 years to 19 years who have a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD).
A parent/carer consultation service operates on the second Monday of the month. Appointments need to be pre- booked by telephoning 01733 863689.
The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Specialist Teacher Service is a school based service that works with children and young people aged 4 years to 19 years who have received a diagnosis of an ADHD.
The ADHD Specialist Teacher Service is a peripatetic service and works term time only, on the second Tuesday of the month