Local offer - social communication difficulties including autism

All children develop at a different rate. Some children’s development may be slower or different from other children.. This section provides information about the diagnosis process and the support available to children, young people and families with social communication difficulties including autism from local and national organisations.

Diagnostic process and pathway

Social communication difficulties

Children with social communication and interaction difficulties have problems understanding what other people mean. Communication is not just the words we use but how we use our body language, facial expression and tone of voice to communicate with someone else.

In addition these children and young people can also have trouble understanding what other people are thinking or feeling; finding it difficult to see things from someone else’s point of view. They may do things which seem out of place; such as talking in a very loud voice to the person who is standing next to them, talking continually about things that interest them to someone they have never met before, and taking turns can be challenging.

Learn more about development disorders.

Autism (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)

Children with autistic spectrum conditions have difficulties in three main

  • Communication and language.
  • Social and emotional understanding.
  • Flexibility of thought and behaviour

Within our population people may have a range of these difficulties. When these are marked and cause a child significant difficulties it is useful to think about how best to describe the difficulties (the diagnostic process).

Learn more about development disorders.

Getting a diagnosis

If you have concerns about your child or young person you can ask for a referral from your GP, Health Visitor or an educational or health professional from your child’s nursery, pre-school, school or college.

Schools would be expected to use their Social Communication Toolkit (SCT) to assess a child's difficulties, and then to put in place initial support. The school can get further advice from the  Inclusion Support Advisory Team (ISAT) as needed. If the difficulties do not improve then the school can make a refer to the community paediatrician or the Complex Communication Diagnostic Service

For more information on the Bromley referral pathways download our information leaflets:

Social communication difficulties pathway (0 – 18yrs)

Adult autism assessment pathway (18+)

Download our full social communications and autism guide.

Support and training

Having a child with social communication difficulties including autism can put strain on you and your family. If you feel you need help, you can get support from many places locally and nationally.

Across Bromley there are a range of training and support workshops run through the Bromley Children Project and our partner organisations.

Local support groups and networks

Information about the support groups and parent networks that are available across Bromley that may be able to help and support you, your child or young person through your journey. Find local support groups and networks

National support and networks

Details of national organisations who can offer advice, support and practical assistance for children, young people and adults with social communication difficulties including autism. 

Social Communication Disorder (SCD) and autism specific clubs

Social opportunities are essential to help a child or young person’s development and offer a great way for families to meet to share experiences and information.

Visit our leisure and activities section to see about the social and opportunities available to children and young people in Bromley with SCD including autism.

Moving to adulthood services

Moving from children’s health and care services might be a daunting prospect for many young people but for those with SEND it might be a particularly worrying time. Our preparing for adulthood pathways document aims to help young people understand the options that are available to them and the paths that they might choose to take as they enter the exciting world of adulthood.

Benefits and money

Find out about the benefits that you might be eligible to claim as the parent, carer or young person with SEND

Bromley Autism Partnership Programme

Learn about the Bromley Autism Partnership programme and outcomes from the 100 day challenge.

Useful resources

A range of resources is available.