Information from Calderdale Council and the NHS South West Yorkshire Partnership:
No presumptions, everyone is different – find out about how a person’s autism affects them. A few questions about what a person prefers can stop any problems later.
Ways of communication – communicate in ways the person knows best. Verbal conversation may be best as some body language may be difficult to read.
Clear unambiguous language used – clear precise language used with no confusing terminology (literal meanings). Give only the information needed.
Routines/structures the same – use structures rather than open ended arrangements to avoid uncertainty. If someone has some rigid routines they follow, try to work with these.
Noise – try to minimise any unnecessary noise, such as equipment which may make a noise. A quiet environment is best.
Sensory environment – make sure the environment is not disruptive, avoiding sensory overload. Remember all senses e.g. smell or touch.
Enough time – give time for people to process the information given to them. Be patient and wait for a response.
Ways to ‘escape’ – always ensure the person knows they can leave if they are getting stressed and where they can escape to. For example, a quieter and less busy area.
Coping strategies – some people may have coping strategies that they use in stressful situations – please find out what these are.
Same people – a consistent approach is always best, seeing the same professional, going to the same place etc. If not possible, please discuss any change.