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Autism affects how a person communicates with and relates to the other people. It affects how they experience the world around them.

All autistic people have their own personality, strengths, and challenges. The definition of autism has changed over the decades and could change in future years as we understand more.

See our Autism – Quick Guide below. This is also downloadable here.


My name is Henry and I’m 9 years old. I’m being tested for autism. I find it hard to control when I feel angry. I get wound up easily and I scream and hit out. It makes it worse if I get laughed at when I feel like this. I find it easier if they stop speaking and leave me alone while I try to control my feelings and calm down. I wish people understood that you cannot always control your anger.


To be diagnosed autistic the child/ young person must show

  • Social communication and interaction differences
  • Fixed interests, thought patterns and behaviours
  • Sensory differences



It’s important to remember the phrase ‘If you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person’

How autism presents itself in an individual can be very different… read more

Emily, parent

What does Autism mean to me?

Understanding your autistic identity can be a really big thing – it may take time to work out what autism means to you and that’s okay. We’re all unique individuals so everyone will have different feelings about what autism means to them. It can be helpful to understand how others relate to being autistic. There are a lot of neurodivergent people sharing their stories on social media, websites and books. Here are a few that might help you get started:


  • The Reason I Jump – Naoki Higashida (2013)
  • Ways To Be Me – By Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott
  • Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism – Barry Prizant (2015)

There are lots of very successful and famous Autistic people, showing that Autism does not have to limit a person’s potential, including:

It's thought that several hugely influential figures in history may have been Autistic due to reports of their unique abilities to think in very different and innovative ways, alongside their different social interaction styles:

Autism, language and social communication

Autism affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people.

Find out more

National Autistic Society

Advice and guidance, including helplines for various topics e.g. parent-to-parent emotional support, school exclusions, and support for the transition to adulthood. These can be found under ‘phone and email services’.

Go to website

Anxiety and autism

Many autistic children and young people experience high levels of stress and anxiety in a range of circumstances.

Read more

Leeds guide (Autism)

The Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group produced this information guide on Autism. It covers information about Autism, the assessment process, and what support is available in Leeds.

Go to guide

Autism Central

Autism Central offers a wealth of resources for parents, carers and personal assistants of autistic people in England – from articles and learning materials to signposting you to services and support in your local area.

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Helpful strategies

Information about strategies and interventions that may help autistic children and young people from

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The Whole Autism Family charity offers tips and important reminders for taking care of your own mental health and wellbeing.

Read more

Curly Hair Project

The Curly Hair Project is founded by autistic author Alis Rowe, and contains resources in a range of formats including animated films and diagrams, as well as online webinars.

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AutistiCon: A Leeds Autism Event is a free annual autism information event. It is held in Leeds and was formerly known as Bigger and Better in Leeds and the Leeds Autism Show.

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