Call to help isolated autistic children

Parents of autistic children should use befriending and support
schemes to combat isolation caused by the condition, the National
Autistic Society said this week.

The advice came in response to reports that a mother in Leicester
had advertised for children to play with her autistic son, offering
them £5 an hour to do so.

Angela Finne, the National Autistic Society’s locality manager for
the Leicester area, said that parents of children with an autistic
spectrum disorder often felt isolated following diagnosis of their
child and would be desperate to seek help and “receive whatever
support they can for their child”.

She suggested parents use befriending and support programmes such
as early bird schemes, which advise parents soon after their child
is diagnosed; and jigsaw schemes, where groups of children and
parents come together on a monthly basis.

But she said provision of such schemes was “patchy” because of
insufficient funding.

“Resources are not always available and it can be difficult for
parents to find the support they need for their children and to get
respite,” she said.

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