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Autism resource directory

Thinking about the diagnosis

Autism support (sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk)  This page contains videos created by the Child Development and Neurodisability Service here at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust to provide parents and young people with information about autism. The videos also provide guidance on specific areas including communication, toileting, eating, sleep and behaviour. It is highly recommended that families watch these videos.

CBeebies: Talking to siblings about autism

Autism and teenagers This page links to information aimed at teenagers related to understanding their diagnosis.

This Neuroclastic story may be useful for helping children (and adults) understand more about autism and autistic brains.

National support

Ambitious about Autism is a national charity which provides information and guidance about understanding autism, behaviours, early years, education and transition to adulthood.

Raising Children is an Australian charity website which covers topics such as behaviour, teenagers and a variety of other topics to help you with raising an autistic child.

National autistic society logo

The National Autistic Society is a national charity for autistic people. The purpose of the organisation is to improve the lives of autistic people in the United Kingdom. They also sell a wide range of books and resources on their online shop.

National Autistic Society: What is autism

National Autistic Society: Talking to your child about their diagnosis

Cerebra logo

Cerebra is a national charity for children with a wide range of neurological problems. They provide information, advice and resources, including sensory toys for loan.
Telephone: 0800 328 1159

Local support and information

The Local Offer is a way of giving children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers information about what activities and support are available in the area where they live.

Multi-Agency Support Teams (MAST) work locally with children, young people and families to provide a range of services which help improve well-being, school attendance, learning behaviour and health care. Their workers usually work with families at their home or in school or at the local Family Centre.
Telephone: 0114 203 7485
Email: childrenandfamiliesmast@sheffield.gov.uk

The Sheffield Parent Carer Forum is a local parent-led charity. They bring together parents and carers of children and young people (up to 25 years of age) with disabilities or special educational needs from across Sheffield. Their aim is to support each other, share information and influence policy and practice.
Telephone: 0300 321 4721

Sheffield Parenting Hub run a range of groups for parents and carers that offer practical advice and support with parenting. They deliver programmes that are evidence-based and tried and tested. This means that the content is written by professional psychologists who have years of research into what works to manage behaviours and difficulties that we can all face as parents.
Telephone: 0114 2057243
Email: sheffieldparenting@sheffield.gov.uk

Sheffield Hallam University list of resources including education, employment, playschemes, the pre-school inclusion project (PIP), and more.

Sheffield autistic society logo

Sheffield Autistic Society (SAS) is a local parent led support group for parents and carers of autistic children, young people and adults. They also welcome autistic adults.

Sparkle sheffield logo

Sparkle Sheffield is a local registered charity that supports autistic children and young people and those who have social communication differences. They offer support from birth to 25 years. Sparkle Sheffield exists to support families with autistic children meet the challenges they face, feel less isolated, less frightened and more empowered.
Telephone: 0114 386 3313
Email: info@sparklesheffield.co.uk

Asperger’s Children and Carers Together (ACCT) is a parent-led support group for autistic children and their families. ACCT run activity groups for autistic children and teenagers, as well as family days out and other trips. Siblings are also welcome too. They also host weekly drop-in sessions and monthly meetings for parents and carers.
Telephone: 0114 223 0242
Email: enquiries@acctsheffield.org.uk

SAPAG logo

Sheffield Asperger’s Parent Action Group (SAPAG) is a voluntary group based in Sheffield which provides information and support to families of autistic adults. They also work with other groups to improve services for autistic adults in Sheffield.
Email: sheffieldsapag@gmail.com


Sheffield Autism and Social Communication Team provides a local authority specialist support service, for children and young people experiencing challenges relating to autism and social communication differences. If you would like to speak to a specialist teacher from the autism team for any advice, please contact the team between Monday to Thursday during term times between 1pm and 4pm.
Telephone: 0114 250 6800
Email: autism.educationteam@sheffield.gov.uk

Sheffield Support Grid is a locally developed guidance document for school staff and other professionals. It is intended to help schools allocate support to learners with additional needs in a fair, consistent and transparent way.

Sheffield Inclusion and Attendance Team offer advice and support to schools where children and young people are experiencing barriers to engaging in their education (such as being at risk of exclusion or having poor attendance). The team works collaboratively with schools to consider how to overcome those barriers with a focus on better outcomes for children. Schools can refer through inclusion panels and parents can seek advice via email.
Email: sheffieldinclusion&attendance@sheffield.gov.uk

0-5 SEND Service (including the Portage Home Visiting Service) offer support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, their carers and education providers for children from up to 5 years and older. The service supports children who have complex needs to which there is a clear impact on their learning and development. Referrals are made by nursery or early years settings. Please contact your child’s provider to discuss a referral.


Sheffield SEN and Disability Information Advice and support (SSENDIAS) provides impartial, confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities. It covers a range of topics including SEN, disability specific information, education, SEN statutory processes, available services, disability related benefits, grants and funding.
Telephone: 0114 273 6009
Email: ssendias@sheffield.gov.uk

Twinkl offer lots of simple and easy to follow resources featuring activities on friendship, social situations, managing emotions, taking turns and common difficulties that children may face in day-to-day life. There are some free downloadable resources available and others need to be paid for.

Activities for autistic children in Sheffield

Sheffield Hallam University Volunteering team offer play schemes, befriending schemes and social activities for autistic children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years old run by students at Sheffield Hallam University.
Telephone: 0114 276 7757
Email: outabout@hotmail.com

Special Needs Inclusion Playcare Service (SNIPS) works to support children with disabilities to access clubs and activities of their choice. They work with a variety of different clubs in Sheffield, from football clubs and rock climbing clubs to drama, art and multi-activity clubs and help to break down barriers to inclusion by offering mentoring support.
Telephone: 0114 273 4017
Email: SNIPSBusinessSupport@sheffield.gov.uk

Burton Street Children and Young People’s Service provide a varied service enabling children aged 8 to 18 with additional needs to access a wide range of activities.
Telephone: 0114 233 2908
Email: admin@burtonstreet.org.uk

ACCT logo

Asperger’s Children and Carers Together (ACCT) run a variety of activities for autistic children, including football, a teenage club, autism-friendly swimming and family days out.
Telephone: 0114 223 0242

Sibling support

Something Interesting for Brothers and Sisters (SIBS) host monthly activities run by Sheffield Volunteering and student volunteers from the University of Sheffield on Saturdays to give siblings a break and the chance to meet others in similar situations.
Telephone: 0114 222 8533
Email: SIBS@sheffield.ac.uk

Sheffield Young Carers (SYC)  offer support for children and young people who care for a sibling with a disability – even though they might not see themselves as ‘carers’.
Telephone: 0114 258 4595

Emotional wellbeing and mental health

Support for children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health Sheffield Children’s have compiled information and resources for supporting emotional wellbeing, ranging from finding ways to describe different feelings to managing ‘melt-downs’ when feelings become too overwhelming.

Gold Digger Trust is a Sheffield charity working to equip young people with the confidence and skills to make positive choices for themselves.
Telephone: 0114 327 1191

Door 43 offer support to 13-25 year olds on a range of emotional wellbeing issues. The service focuses on early intervention and low-level support and is not a specialist mental health service. They run wellbeing chats, a wellbeing café and time limited 1:1 support.
Telephone: 0114 201 2800
Email: door43@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

The Sheffield Mental Health Guide is an information website aimed at anyone who is struggling in Sheffield, whether they have been diagnosed by a clinician or are just having a bad day. Available 24/7, it is a comprehensive guide to mental health services, support and activities in our city.

Kooth is an online mental wellbeing community. Children and young people can access support directly.

Happy Maps is a website featuring a range of information and mental health resources for parents and carers and for young people and children.

Epic Friends logo

Epic Friends is a website developed by Sheffield CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) to help young people to support their friends who may be having difficulty coping with their emotions or mental health.

Young Minds

Young Minds is a charity aimed at improving children’s wellbeing and mental health. Discover information, advice and support for young people.
Telephone: 0808 802 5544 parents and carers helpline

Understanding and managing feelings and behaviour

Understanding and managing difficult feelings in autism These videos have been produced by Sheffield Children’s for families of autistic children. The videos are designed to help you support your child in understanding and managing their feelings as part of their autism.

Understanding and managing behaviour These resources from Sheffield Children’s are designed to support you and your child in managing meltdowns, relaxation strategies and energy management.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation is a charity focused on the needs of people with severe learning disabilities. It offers a range of resources offering support and information about behaviour and connected issues.


Support for sleep  These resources from Sheffield Children’s provide some tips for helping children improve their sleep.

The Children’s Sleep Charity offer a sleep service which consists of a team of sleep practitioners covering parts of the UK who can offer help and advice on sleep issues.
Telephone: 0130 275 1416
E-mail: info@thechildrenssleepcharity.org.uk

Cerebra logo

Cerebra provide a sleep service offering 1:1 support, sleep workshops and information resources. They can give advice over the phone on your child’s specific sleep problem.
Telephone: 0126 724 4210
Email: sleep@cerebra.org.uk


Sheffield Eating Disorder Assessment Treatment Team (SEDATT) A specialist service within CAMHS for eating disorders including Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Referral is by GP, qualified social worker, educational psychologists, paediatricians and MAST panel meetings.

Sheffield Children’s Speech and Language Therapy  is a specialist service to help children who have eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties including Avoidant, Restrictive, Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Referral is by GPs, Health Visitors, school nurses and specialist doctors and nurses.

When it’s not just fussy eating is an article by a local Speech and Language Therapist and Dietician.

National Autistic Society: Eating This guide explores common issues related to autism and eating and ways you can help.

BEAT is the UK’s Eating Disorders charity and it has an information page about Avoidant or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).

“Broccoli Boot Camp” book by Keith Williams and Laura Seiverling is a comprehensive guide for parents of children who are selective or “picky” eaters and can be used with children with or without special needs. It presents common sense behavioural interventions to successfully expand children’s diet variety and preferences for healthy foods.

“Can’t Eat, Won’t Eat: Dietary Difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorders” book by Brenda Legge aims to reassure parents of children with dietary difficulties and to suggest practical methods of dealing with the challenge.

“Food Refusal and Avoidant Eating in Children, Including Those with Autism Spectrum Conditions: A Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals” book by Gillian Harris and Elizabeth Shea aims to help people understand the condition and work with it, gradually increasing the range of food a child is able to eat.


The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity is a charity dedicated to the bowel and bladder health of all children and teenagers in the UK. They have a range of information leaflets and resources that will help parents, carers, professionals and schools cope with incontinence in children and young people, including those with additional needs.
Telephone: 0161 214 4591

Community Continence Clinic is a local specialist service for toilet training problems from age five, including children with special needs, after adequate input and supervision from their GP, health visitor, special needs or MAST support workers. Referral is by GPs, Health visitors, school nurses and specialist doctors and nurses.

National autistic society logo

National Autistic Society: Toileting This toileting guide aims to answer your questions on how to toilet train a child on the autism spectrum.


Making Sense of Your Senses The Sheffield Children’s Sensory Service Virtual Therapy Area Provides parents and carers with knowledge, ideas and strategies to support children or young person with sensory needs that may be impacting on their everyday life. These resources cover a range of topics such as regulation, eating, toileting, hair washing and much more. In addition to these resources, the specialist team deliver sensory training to Sheffield schools and educational establishments, and are aiming to support all schools in Sheffield to be ‘sensory accessible’

National autistic society logo

National Autistic Society: Sensory Differences Information, strategies and tips for coping with sensory differences.

Communication and visual supports

Sheffield Children’s NHS Speech and Language Therapy This local NHS service works with children with speech, language and communication or swallowing difficulties, from 0-16 years of age. Your child may have an allocated speech and language therapist who may work with you and your child through their nursery, school or in a clinic. Please contact them for specific advice about your child. Not all autistic children require support with their communication and therefore not everyone will need to access the speech and language therapy service.
Telephone: 0114 226 2333

Sheffield Small Talk Run by The University of Sheffield, preschool-age children with any speech, language or communication need can attend to work with Speech and Language Therapy students, supervised by qualified Speech and Language Therapists in the university.
Telephone: 0114 222 2418
Email: hss-placements@sheffield.ac.uk

Speech and Language Therapy This website contains information and videos to support early communicators and communicating children.

Communication in autistic and neurodivergent young people This is a video on communication in autistic and neurodivergent young people made for the Autism in School project.

Sheffield Children’s symbols for home kit You can download this free resource to make schedules to explain what is happening now and next, explain daily routines, provide choices and support children to communicate their wishes. If your child has an allocated speech and language therapist, they will show you how to use this with your child.

Twinkle symbols is an app for creating choice boards, visual schedules, and communication books. It has a text-to-speech function so symbols are spoken by the device when they are pressed.

Makaton is a sign language to help children learn how to communicate and develop language skills in a fun and exciting way.

National autistic society logo

National Autistic Society: Communication information on communication tips, communication tools and understanding and developing communication. This includes information on writing social stories and comic strip conversations, which can help develop children’s social understanding.

Funding and benefits

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is under 16 and has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability. They will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.

Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people.
Telephone: 01904 550055

Short Breaks Services for children and young people with disabilities. A short break is an essential part of a continuum of support for parent carers of children and young people with disabilities, by offering parent carers a break from their caring responsibilities or their usual routine.
Telephone: 0114 273 6032
Email: cypf_shortbreaksgrant@sheffield.gov.uk

Parent and carer wellbeing and mental health

We recognise that parents often need support for their own mental health and wellbeing. Many parents find valuable peer support through parent carer groups such as those listed above. You can also access support for your own mental health from your GP or through IAPT. The Sheffield Mental Health Directory includes information about mental health friendly services and activities across the city.

Some parents also identify as being autistic and may be interested in seeking an assessment for themselves. The Sheffield Adult Autism and Neurodevelopmental Service (SAANS) is a specialist service responsible for the assessment, diagnosis and post-diagnostic support of neurodevelopmental disorders in adults, including autism
Telephone: 0114 271 6964.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: NDS20

Resource Type: Article

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