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Autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates and interacts with others and how they perceive the world around them.  It affects approximately 700,000 people in the UK (1 in every 100) and whilst it can affect anyone, it does appear to affect more males than females.

As autism is not an illness or disease, it therefore cannot be cured, however with the right support people can be helped to live the life they wish to live.

If you're an adult (aged over 18) living in Herefordshire, you can now access an Autism Diagnosis Service, via a referral from your GP practice or Mental Health Team.

Local support

The Herefordshire Autism Partnership Board consists of representatives from public services, support organisations and those with autism and / or their family carers.  The board aims to promote better understanding of autism and improve local services for people, families and carers living with autism.

Herefordshire Disability United is run by people with disabilities, for people with disabilities and provides a voice for disabled people on local and national disability issues.

National Autistic Society – Herefordshire Branch is run by friendly local volunteers, all of whom are parents, carers, family or friends of someone with autism.  They offer an adult support network, youth and children’s groups, free training and talks and a resource library.

National support

Autism Parenting Magazine has a range of free social stories you can download, covering areas such as making friends, sharing toys, anxiety or potty training.
  
Autism West Midlands provide information and advice for people with autism, their family and friends.  They also offer a range of different services, including community supported living, residential support, employment support, training for parents, groups and events.

Autistica is the UK’s leading autism research charity, which works to improve the lives of those with autism.  They also offer the Molehill Mountain app, which helps autistic people understand and manage anxiety.

National Autistic Society provide a wealth of information and advice on autism, along with support centres, one to one and family support, social groups, activities and much more.

NHS provide a useful guide for those who may be autistic and their family and friends.  It covers a wide range of areas, including signs of autism in children and adults and how to get diagnosed.