Useful resources for parents of children with autism

The following resources have been identified as potentially beneficial for parents/carers of children and young people either with a diagnosis of autism:

General resources

Hertfordshire SEND Local Offer:

The Local Offer lets parents and young people know what special educational needs and disabilities services are available in Hertfordshire, and who can access them. You can access the Local Offer here or to find out more about what the Local Offer is, you can click here.

National Autistic Society (NAS)

The National Autistic Society have produced a short guide for parents and carers of autistic children. You can access this by clicking here.

Alternatively the NAS website contains lots of useful information on topics such as explanation of autism, behaviour management, communication strategies, and supporting someone with autism during holiday periods (e.g. Christmas time). There is also an online shop that has books and resources for parents, which can be found here.

The Hanen Centre

The Hanen Centre is a Canada-based organisation that has specific programmes and resources designed for children with AUTISM and their parents.

The Hanen Center has put together information for parents to support their children to learn language, communication and social skills. These can be accessed by going to: http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Parent-Tips.aspx

The Hanen Centre also produces purchasable resources for parents to use with their children to help them build their language, social, and early literacy skills. These can be found by going to: http://www.hanen.org/Guidebooks---DVDs/Parents.aspx

HAND (Hertfordshire Additional Needs Database)

Ambitious about Autism: Right from the Start Toolkit

Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. Their Right from the Start Toolkit is a free downloadable resources for parents/carers who think their child has autism, or whose child has recently been diagnosed. It contains a wealth of straightforward information in one place to guide parents and carers through their child’s journey in the early years. From the autism assessment process to the first day of school, this toolkit is packed with practical tips and checklists to support parents during the earliest years of their child’s life. It also provides signposts to sources of support or additional information.

Books written by professionals for parents/carers of people with a diagnosis of autism

Neurotribes by Steve Silberman:

Playing, laughing and learning with Children on the Autistic Spectrum by Julia Moor:

The Autistic Spectrum: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Lorna Wing:

Books written by people with a diagnosis of autism:

Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin:

The Reason I Jump: one boy’s voice from the silence of autism by Naoki Higashida:

Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger's and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers by John Elder Robinson:

School-specific resources

Autism Education Trust’s “Working together with your Child’s school” – a free guide produced by the Autism Education Trust for parents and carers to identify what is important in the education of their child with autism.

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

IPSEA offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). As well as offering online information pages on topics such as “Education, Health and Care Plans”, “Exclusion and children out of school”, and “Choosing a school or college”, IPSEA offers the following free services run by legally-trained volunteers:

  1. Advice Line, which provides legally based information and next step advice on any educational issue that is the result of a child’s special educational needs or disability
  2. Tribunal Helpline, which gives next step advice on appeals and disability discrimination claims to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
  3. Tribunal Support Service, which involves casework volunteers providing individual support for families
  4. Information Service: for general legal enquiries

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

SENDIASS provides free impartial, confidential and accurate information, advice and support about education, health and social care for children, young people and their parents on matters relating to special educational needs and disability. There is a short video on their website introducing their Information Advice and Support Service, which you can view here (https://www.kids.org.uk/sendiass).

Resources specific to supporting girls with a diagnosis of autism

Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar

The National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) has put together a guide to supporting girls with autism spectrum conditions.

Autism in Pink: Helping to identify undiagnosed girls with AUTISM

Article written by Tania Tirraoro, founder and co-director of Special Needs Jungle (also parent to two children with autism diagnoses).

Autism in Pink documentary

The Autism in Pink project was an EU Lifelong Learning Programme funded partnership between four European organisations to research and educate about autism (including Asperger syndrome) in women. The project gathered a group of women with autism in each country. In this film made for the project by Uppercut Films, the women talk about their lives - the challenges they've faced and their personal achievements.