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Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates and relates to other people and how they experience the world around them. The condition affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.

The common behaviours of autism are typically detectable at an early age. These behaviours often don’t show themselves until an aspect of the child’s life changes, for example when the child goes to nursery or primary school or moves to secondary school. Autism is strongly associated with a number of coexisting conditions.

Guidance and helpful information

Click here to view our mind map filled with advice on how to support your child.

The activities highlighted in the mind map will help you understand your child’s condition and make day to day life easier to manage with their difficulties.

If you continue to suspect your child is within the autism spectrum, please consult your GP or a who, if appropriate, will direct your child into our service.

You should also view links to the right for lots of helpful information on how you can support your child.

Support in Wiltshire: Autism Parent Programme 2 (SWAPP 2) – for parents and their children’s teaching assistants

SWAPP 2 is based on the Barnardo’s Cygnet Programme is a 6 week programme for families with a child diagnosed with ASD who are in Y1 to Y4. The programme will help parents and staff to better understand their child’s autism, improve communication with their child and develop strategies to pre-empt problem behaviours and/or manage those which do occur. Families who would like a place should contact Wiltshire Council on 01225 757 901 or email for an application form or book online at the SWAPP website.

If your child is diagnosed, try to remember that your child is the same person they have always been. The only difference is that you now know what condition they have and you can begin to help them to maximise their potential and to live life to the fullest.

How we can help

Community Paediatricians investigate and diagnose Autism. There is no cure for this condition but by learning about it and understanding how your child sees the world you can help and support them.

Please see our Wiltshire Autism Assessment service page for information about our diagnostic service