Autism and ADHD


Autism can be difficult to diagnose, as every autistic person has different needs and displays different characteristics. These might include:

  • speech and language
  • interacting with others
  • behaviour

Find out about possible signs of autism on Autism Anglia's website.

For help understanding sensory processes in autistic children, watch a video on Essex County Council's YouTube channel.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Similarly, ADHD can present in many different ways. 

These might include:

  • inattentiveness (difficulty concentrating and focusing)
  • hyperactivity and impulsiveness

Find out about more on ADHD UK's website.

What to do if you're affected by ADHD medication shortages

Community support

There is support available in the community, such as support groups as well as activities suitable for people with autism and ADHD. 

Find support groups and activities for autism and ADHD

Essex Family Forum guide

Essex Family Forum have a guide about conditions such as autism and ADHD called 'Supporting your Neurodiverse Child'. ‘Neurodiverse’ is a term to describe people who think in a different way.

Produced with support from local charities Send the Right Message Southend and My Own Time And Space (MYOTAS).

You can contact them for a hard copy or download from the Essex Family Forum website

Assessments for those aged 17 and under

You need to get a referral from a professional such as a GP or Health Visitor, a teacher or a social worker. They will refer you to a 'community paediatrician'.

Community paediatricians are child health doctors.

They can help assess and support children with a range of special needs and disabilities.

Things they can help with include:

  • autism
  • ADHD
  • cerebral palsy
  • developmental co-ordination disorder (dyspraxia)
  • special educational needs
  • learning disabilities
  • social communication difficulties

Search for your local community paediatrician

Assessments for those aged 18 and over

For those aged 18 years and over, the process is similar. It starts with a referral from a health professional such as a GP to your local service for autism or ADHD assessments.

These are called adult diagnostic services.

Search for adult diagnostic services