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Autism and Autistic Spectrum Condition

Group of parents with their children all having a meeting

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What Is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong neurological spectrum condition that affects people in different ways; it means their brain works in a different way from other people . This means that people with autism experience the world in different ways and may find some difficulty in some or all of the below:

Autism is something you're born with and is a lifelong condition.  People with Autism may have differences in their attention, interests and how they learn. This can include being very focused on particular interests. They can have a different way of being flexible, so often feel safer and more comfortable with routines and structure as this lessens uncertainty.

People with autism all have very different experiences and needs as well as different strengths. Some of these strengths could be:

While people with autism share similar characteristics to some degree, they are also all different from each other. This is because autism is considered a spectrum. The autism spectrum is not linear from high to low but varies in every way that one person might vary from another.

There is no ‘typical’ person with autism. Every individual with autism has their own strengths, differences and needs, their own life journey and their own unique story.

Link to Amazing Things Can Happen video on YouTube (opens a pop out video)

Diagnosing Autism?

Autism may be recognised by anyone but it must be diagnosed by specialist teams within the NHS. 

The NHS website outlines the steps taken in diagnosing autism.

Waiting for an Autism Assessment or Diagnosis?

Assessment and diagnosis of autism can include a long wait. It can take over a year to obtain an assessment in East Sussex.

During this time, your child may still require support. 

It is important to note that while having a diagnosis of autism maybe helpful, your child is entitled to support in their educational setting (preschool, school, or college) based on their experiences and needs. This does not change during the wait for assessment. 

Support for your child should be ongoing and include the graduated approach (assess, plan, do review).  

Support from services such as Amaze and CLASS+ (information below) are also available at any point in the process of assessment. 

Additional Help and Services

Amaze (a local charity that supports SEND) runs groups for parents and carers of children with autism called Kids Squad:

"Amaze Face 2 Face runs Kids Squad – for parent carers of children with ASC up to 10 years old and Escape – for parent carers of children aged 11+. Contact Kathy, Face 2 Face project worker: via email:"

Amaze also have a booklet of information rleating to Autism that parents and carers can read online:


CLASS+ is a East Sussex County Council service offered to families with children (5-16) with autism. The service offers telephone advice and guidance, coffee mornings, workshops and short-term support at home. 

For information see their details in our directory:


Spectrum is a free, county-wide service that helps children and young people with Autism ‘aged 5–18’ to join in activities in their local community, develop their independence and build confidence in developing key life skills. It is part of ISEND’s Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service (CLASS).

For more information see their details on our directory:



1Space Directory

Our directory on 1Space provides various services that aim to help those with autism. Please click on the following links for:

Get in touch