Autism is a life-long neurodevelopmental condition which affects the way adults and children interact and communicate with the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways.

There are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK alone, and it has been found that more than 1 in 100 people are thought to be on the autism spectrum.

It is important to remember that autism is not an illness or a disease, it means that the brain works in different ways compared to other people.



Signs of autism in children

Signs of autism in young children

  • avoiding eye contact
  • not responding to their name
  • not talking as much as other children
  • not smiling when you smile at them
  • repeating the same phrases over again
  • repetitive movement (known as stimming)
  • over or under sensitivity to certain sounds, tastes and lights

Signs of autism in older children

  • repeating the same phrases over again
  • difficulty interpreting other people’s emotions
  • having a strict routine and becoming very upset if it abruptly changes
  • becoming increasingly secluded
  • finding it difficult to explain how they feel
  • repetitive movement (known as stimming)
  • have a keen interest in certain subjects or activities
  • taking things very literally



If you believe that your child is showing signs of autism, the best next step to take is to speak to someone and seek advice.

You could initially speak to:

  • a GP
  • a healthcare professional
  • a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) staff at your child’s school

An assessment can also be carried out by a specialist to determine whether your child is autistic.

During an autism assessment, the specialist or specialist’s may:

  • analyse how your child interacts with other people
  • ask about any problems or difficulties your child is having
  • speak to people who you and your child know well, such as family, friends, your child’s teachers or your GP



A diagnosis can be extremely helpful in allowing you to really understand your child’s needs, how to help them and where to access appropriate support.

As part of our children and young people services at One Hatfield Hospital, we have a team of dedicated paediatricians that are on hand to assess, diagnose and support autistic children and their families.

Why One Hatfield

  • Modern purpose-built hospital opened in December 2017
  • Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, X-ray and Ultrasound
  • Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
  • Specialist physiotherapy and nursing teams
  • Little or no waiting time
  • ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
  • Freshly prepared food
  • Calm, dignified experience

Contact us and find out more

If you are based in and around Hertfordshire, St Albans, Stevenage, Watford, Barnet, North London, Welwyn or Bedfordshire and would like to visit the One Hatfield Hospital please click here.

Contact the Hospital About Autism
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