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Autism and mental health

Autism is not a mental health problem or an illness. It means your brain works in a different way from other people and it’s something you’re born with. It’s a spectrum and this means it affects people in different ways.

An autistic person might:

  • interact differently and need help understanding what people are thinking or feeling
  • be sensitive to loud noise, lights, or crowds or have other sensory needs
  • need to have a routine and find change difficult

You can learn more about autism from the NHS website.

Looking after your mental health with autism

Just like any young person, if you have autism, it’s important to look after your mental health. 

You might find certain situations stressful, so finding ways to keep your routine can be helpful.  

There are different things you can try that might help including:

Helping a friend with autism 

If you know an autistic person and you’re worried about them, you could try to:

  • find out how they prefer to communicate – this might be text messages or writing things down 
  • talk to them – choose somewhere that is quiet and doesn’t have harsh lighting 
  • give them time – your friend might need time to process your questions and answer them and silences might happen 

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