General principles of care

The following advice is adapted from NICE Guideline CG170: Autism in under 19s: support and management [http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg170]

 

All children and young people with autism should have full access to health and social care services, including mental health services, regardless of their intellectual ability or any coexisting diagnosis.

 

The overall configuration and development of local services (including health, mental health, learning disability, education and social care services) for children and young people with autism, should be coordinated by a local autism multi-agency strategy group for people with autism of all ages.

 

The assessment, management and coordination of care for children and young people with autism should be provided through local specialist community-based multidisciplinary teams.

 

Professionals should consider the physical environment in which children and young people with autism are supported and cared for and minimise any negative impact by:

  • providing visual supports
  • making reasonable adjustments or adaptations to the amount of personal space given
  • considering individual sensory sensitivities to
    • lighting
    • noise levels
    • the colour of walls and furnishings

the processes of health or social care should be adapted, for example by:

  • arranging appointments at the beginning or end of the day to minimise waiting time
  • providing single rooms for children and young people who may need a general anaesthetic in hospital

 

Children and young people with autism, and their families and carers, should be provided with information about autism and its management and the support available on an ongoing basis.

 

Arrangements to support children and young people with autism and their family and carers during times of increased need should be made, including major life changes such as puberty, starting or changing schools, or the birth of a sibling.

 

If children and young people express interest in being involved in decision making, a collaborative approach to treatment and care should be offered.