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Autism is a lifelong condition and affects people of all ages. There is help and support available for autistic people at every stage of their life, depending on their needs. 

What is autism? 

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people view the world and interact with others. 

Autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be cured. Often, people feel that being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity. 

Autism is a spectrum condition. This means that all people with autism share certain difficulties, but they will be affected in different ways.   

Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning they will need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum can learn and develop and should be supported to live a life which is best for them. 

Volunteering and work 

Voluntary work means working unpaid for a short period of time. This is a good way to gain valuable experience, learn new skills and build self-confidence. 

You may be able to arrange this through your school or college. 

The National Autistic Society has advice for people looking for a job and information about your rights in the workplace. 

Financial support 

Your autism might mean that you need extra financial support. You can apply for benefits on GOV.UK. 

Find out more about benefits for autistic young people and adults on the National Autistic Society website. 

Support for carers 

If you look after a child, young person or adult with autism, you could be eligible for extra support. 

You can find out more about getting a carer's assessment, respite care and financial support for carers on our caring for someone section. 

Local groups for people with autism 

There are organisations that offer information, advice and practical support for people with autism and their families. You do not need to have received a diagnosis to access their services. 

The National Autistic Society is a UK charity for autistic people, people with Asperger syndrome and their families. They can provide you with information and support about autism. 

Mencap works with and represents people with learning disabilities and their families and carers to ensure their needs, rights and aspirations are met. 

STAAR (Supporting Together Autism with Activities in Redbridge) is a group of autistic people in and around Redbridge, their parents, families, carers and other supporters. They offer support and advice and provide activities and opportunities for people that may not be available to them because of their disabilities or additional needs. 

RIASS (Redbridge Information, Advice and Support Service) offers free and impartial advice and support to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers in Redbridge. 

Help for adults 

Autism can affect your life in all sorts of different ways. 

If you are finding it difficult to look after yourself and manage particular tasks, you can contact us to discuss your care and support needs. 

During this discussion, we will ask you about day to day tasks you might be struggling with and how we can support you with them.  

You might want to have an independent advocate with you, to make sure your needs are captured accurately. 

Request an assessment