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Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)

Autism is a condition that affects how people interact with other people and how they see the world. Those with autism may see, hear and feel things differently. Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) is something that a person has for life. Autism affects different people in different ways. Some people with ASC may have learning difficulties or mental health problems.

More about Autistic Spectrum Condition

Some children and young people with autism find the world overwhelming, which can cause them considerable anxiety. Understanding other people and taking part in everyday activities at home, school or work can be harder as they often struggle to communicate and interact with others.

Someone with autism may display the following:

  • Difficulties with social communication and social interaction. For example, struggling to understand/interpret facial expressions, tone of voice, jokes and sarcasm or having difficulty developing, maintaining and understanding relationships.
  • Restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities. For example, repetitive motor movements or speech, insistence on sameness or inflexible adherence to routines - some find routines comforting and help them to cope with an ever-confusing world. They like to know what is going to happen every day.

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Books

  • A Mind Apart: Understanding Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome by Peter Szatmari
  • Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood
  • Can I tell you about Autism?: A guide for friends, family and professionals by Jude Welton
  • CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents by Amanda Crowder, Lisa Weed Phifer and Tracy Elsenraat
  • Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson
  • My Family is Different: A Workbook for Children with a Brother or Sister Who Has Autism or Asperger Syndrome by Carolyn Brock
  • The Autistic Spectrum: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Lorna Wing
  • The Big Book of Blob Trees by Pip Wilson
  • The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher's Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley
  • The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz
  • The Reason I Jump: one boy's voice from the silence of autism by Naoki Higashida
  • Lancashire Libraries - Reading Well for Young People – Shelf Help
  • The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust book recommendations and book club

Useful apps

  • Brain in Hand - Used by people with autism or mental health problems to help remember activities, reduce anxiety and feel supported (requires purchasing a software licence at www.braininhand.co.uk).
  • Brili - Sets up daily routines/reminders for kids; particularly helpful for those with behaviour or conduct disorders, autism or ADHD to help provide structure and consistency.

Eresource icon.png e-Resources

Helpful information, guides, tools and classroom resources for education professionals

  • ​​​​The National Autistic Society - Good practice guides, conferences and training courses for professionals. The Lancaster and Morecambe Branch currently maintain a closed Facebook group but also have a website with information.
  • The National Autistic Society - tips to help you to communicate more effectively with an autistic person, whether it’s your child, pupil, colleague or friend.
  • Reach Out ASC - Resources and training
  • MindEd - a free educational resource on children and young people's mental health for all adults
  • Lancashire County Council – SEND - Information about the Lancashire Local Offer and support with Education, Health and Care Plans
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists - Online advice, guidance and downloadable factsheets for staff, parents and CYP to use (good for parents’ evenings) with leaflets available to order at a cost
  • ASD Bright Ideas - Autism resources/SEN awareness products and visual aids to help autistic/special needs children with their visual auditory processing skills
  • Contact - Advice for professionals who work with disabled children, and somewhere to signpost parents/carers too
  • Lancashire Safeguarding Children’s Board - Infographics on a variety of topics. 

Self-help material to recommend to children, young people and families/carers

  • Mencap - Information around ASD.

  • CAMHS resources - This site was created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together lots of helpful resources from across the internet that are available to help support mental health and well-being.

Online places to signpost children, young people and families/carers to for further help

  • ​​​​​​Kooth - Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, accredited counsellors for mental health needs
  • Childline - Information and advice
  • North Lancashire Directions Group - Contains a timetable of additional needs support groups, calendar of events and Cygnet training course dates for the North Lancashire area
  • Autism Show - National events for parents, carers, professionals and individuals on the autistic spectrum.​​​​​​​
  • Stepping Stones - Based on Triple P’s positive parenting strategies. It helps you manage problem behaviour and developmental issues common in children with disability. (Operates in Greater Preston, Chorley and South Ribble only)
  • TAAG - offer support to parents and carers of children and young people who have a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder/Condition (ASD/C), and Social communication needs. (Operates in Chorley and South Ribble, but anyone in Lancashire can contact them for advice)
  • Action for ASD (Operates in Blackburn and East Lancashire only) - Children’s Services Support Helplines & Emergency Contacts

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Blackburn with Darwen

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Helen Capstick

Chorley and South Ribble

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Michelle Taylor

  • Please contact the Complex Needs Team to find out if there is any free training/groupwork offered to professionals or for young people and families following a diagnosis of ASC.
  • Riding the Rapids is an evidence-based training course for parents/carers of children or young people with a diagnosis of autism or other complex needs.
  • Barnardo's Cygnet Service offers a training programme for organisations to provide their own two-day training for their staff. They also run an evidence-based support programme for parents/carers of children aged 5-18 who are on the autistic sprectrum.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

Fylde and Wyre

Your Primary Mental Health Workers: Liz Loftus, Joanne Collins (Wyre) and Lucy Fenucciu (Fylde).

North Lancashire

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Wendy Hart

West Lancashire

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Dawn Meakin

  • For staff training, please link in with Learning Disabilities Complex Needs Team to find out what training is on offer. The Team can offer group sessions for children/young people and parents following a diagnosis of ASC.
  • Riding the Rapids is an evidence-based training course for parents/carers of children or young people with a diagnosis of autism or other complex needs.
  • Barnardo's Cygnet Service offers a training programme for organisations to provide their own two-day training for their staff. They also run an evidence-based support programme for parents/carers of children aged 5-18 who are on the autistic spectrum.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

Blackpool

Your Primary Mental Health Workers: Helen Smith, Bethanne Bullion and Stephanie Rowe

East Lancashire

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Aliki Mavraki

Greater Preston

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Shamaila Iqbal

  • Your PMHW can provide a training course on basic classroom strategies.
  • Riding the Rapids is an evidence-based training course for parents/carers of children or young people with a diagnosis of autism or other complex needs.
  • Barnardo's Cygnet Service offers a training programme for organisations to provide their own two-day training for their staff. They also run an evidence-based support programme for parents/carers of children aged 5-18 who are on the autistic spectrum.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

South Cumbria

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Nikki Swan



Help-advice-icon.png Further help or advice

If you cannot find the help or advice you are searching for or you need other support for a child or young person, please contact your local CAMHS team.