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.
The Autism Toolkit
The Autism Toolkit has been created as part of the All Age Autism Strategy Development.
It is a self assessment tool which encourages and supports organisations to become more accessible to children, young people and adults with autism; or other neurodiverse conditions. In doing so, we hope to increase the accessibility of organisations and businesses across Peterborough.
The Autism Toolkit will also be used across Peterborough City Council (PCC) and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (C&P CCG) when commissioning services and as part of provider contract management.
Please feel free to complete the Autism Toolkit or share with organisations and business across Peterborough.
Complete the Autism Toolkit
Use the links below to download copies of the document you need. Please note the links open a pdf document. If you want a copy of the excel spreadsheet please email:
- Front cover
- User details
- Communication methods
- Integration of services
- Communication and marketing
- Action Plan Summary
- Score Summary
Be included within our Autism Accessible Directory
Organisations who have completed the toolkit and looking to increase neurodiverse accessibility can be included within our Autism Accessible Directory by notifying:
Children's Commissioning (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
About 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).
What is The Autism Specalist Teacher Service?
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.
What is The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Specialist Teacher Service?
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
The government has published the national strategy for improving the lives of autistic people and their families and carers in England, and an implementation plan for 2021 to 2022.
The strategy builds on and replaces the preceding adult autism strategy, Think Autism, which was published in April 2014. It extends the scope of the strategy to children and young people for the first time.
Further details can be accessed below which includes the strategy, the 2021-22 implementation plan and easy read version.
- The national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026
Full details are available on the GOV.UK website
Ambitious About Autism: young people create diagnosis resources
A group of autistic young people have shared their experiences of receiving an autism diagnosis, to help others going through the process feel 'less alone’.
Members of Ambitious about Autism’s Youth Network have created a series of new videos and blogs in which they talk about what it felt like to be diagnosed - some as children, teenagers or as young adults.
The group decided to embark on the project to tackle the lack of peer-led advice and support available for young people going through the autism diagnosis process.
Find out more here.
Home For Good: Successful community support for people with a learning disability, a mental health need and autistic people | Care Quality Commission
Community support for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people
Community support for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people can be a complex process. Even more so if people also have a mental health need. Success depends on a concerted effort across multiple agencies working in partnership with the people supported and their families.
However, it can and does work, delivering a good quality of life, often at much lower prices compared to hospital settings. This assertion is supported by a body of policy guidance and literature going back almost three decades.
View the Care Quality Commission report