How do I know if my child has autism / Asperger’s?

Please see our ‘About high-functioning autism & Asperger’s syndrome‘ section. Remember, most people will have some traits but the defining factor for autism is that the person has the ‘triad of impairments’ (ie one or more traits from each).

How do I go about getting a diagnosis?

The best place to start is by visiting your GP and telling him or her you think your child may be on the autism spectrum. Ask for a referral to a suitable paediatrician.

Private Diagnosis is available via Spectrum North West (www.spectrumnorthwest.org), based in Warrington, who offer a multi-disciplinary autism assessment using DISCO, ADOS, observation and sensory profiling. Tel. 07800 783050.

What is an EHC plan?

An EHC plan (eductaion, health & care plan)’ is a legal document, put together using information from various sources (educational psychologist, paediatrician, parent, school, speech therapist, occupational therapist). An EHCP is only issued if the child concerned needs extra educational support over and above that of their peers.

How do I go about getting an EHC plan?

You can either ask school to start proceedings or you can request it yourself via your Local Education Department. There is an assessment process which takes several months so bear this in mind when thinking of applying.

What schooling options are available?

Currently in Trafford, if the child has high-functioning autism/Asperger’s, at primary stage they are more likely to be taught in a mainstream school (possibly with TA support) or within a small specialist class in a mainstream school. There is also special school provision if suitable. With regards to high school the current options are mainstream or special school.

What is available locally for my child?

Trafford Family Information Service – SEN & Disability > For info on what’s available locally for children with SEN

Swimming lessons (costs vary):

  • Carrington (Man. Utd. training centre) – 1:1 half-hour sessions, varied depth pool.
    Contact Karen on 0161 749 2570
  • Stretford Leisure Centre – 1:1 or small groups, half hour session in shallow training pool.
    Contact 0161 875 1414
  • Seashell Trust, Cheadle – 1:1 or small group, half hour session, whole pool is approx 1.5m deep.
    Contact Wendy on 0161 610 0159

CEA Cinema card

  • If your child likes the cinema you can get a CEA card which allows a parent/carer to go free. Costs just £5.50 and is valid for a year. Also, please note Odeon cinemas sometimes run ‘autism friendly’ screenings of certain films.

Discounted entry with DLA / Carer’s letter

  • To places such as zoo’s, theatres, bowling, Sealife and Legoland. Some places like Legoland also offer fastpass so you don’t have to queue. Just take a copy of your DLA or Carer’s letter along and ask if they do disability concessions at the entrance.

Also take a look at Trafford leisure facilities by visiting the Trafford Family Information Service website here.