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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.

SN children


5 replies

Jackie279 · 25/05/2020 22:51

Hi, I'm new to Mumsnet so not quite sure how this worked. Anyway, here goes.

During the lockdown, our 8-year-old son was diagnosed with autism. No groups are running and his school is closed so we feel quite isolated with this new information.
Are their people we are supposed to inform? I have asked for a referral to a paediatric dietitian as he hardly eats and when he does it's a very limited diet.
Is there anything else we should be doing? It seems like we're supposed to know what to do next regarding help and support that we may be able to get. No advice from any professionals. If anyone has any experience about what organisation or officials that help we would appreciate it. Thank you.

OP posts:
Brilliantmumto3 · 26/05/2020 19:46


You contact the National Autistic Society (NAS).

PaolaNeri · 27/05/2020 18:49

Hi there,

This is not uncommon, even without the current situation.

Firstly do you know about your Local Offer for your borough? If you don't, this is like a big directory that holds all the information/services for SEN in your area. Simply google your borough name and then SEN Local Offer.

My local council offered classes after diagnosis. These were really helpful despite having already raised an older asd child, always something to learn and meet new people. I would ask CAHMS (if that is who has diagnosed your son) if they will be running any classes when allowed? Mine have also run one on sensory issues which covered eating/diet etc.

We have had a referral to a dietician who was quite honest in admitting there probably wasn't a lot she could do in terms of getting him to change his diet. However, she did go through the foods he did eat and identified those nutrients he would be lacking so we could buy the relevant supplements, rather than a generic all rounder. She did give us some information to read, but I found more useful advice from other parents.

I second the advice to look on the National Autistic Society, loads of fantastic information and help in directing you especially when newly diagnosed.

I would still email the school and let them know he has a diagnosis. The staff will still be working (I have had lots of support from mine). There may be parts of the report that would be helpful for school to support him, especially once he does go back. Does he have an EHCP?

When you have a moment to look at your council Local Offer, have a look for the Short Breaks section. There should be lots of advice to get you started.

It's a lot to take on board, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, but you are not alone. Flowers

HotPenguin · 30/05/2020 17:34

Hello, the best support we have had has been from a local charity which offers family support. If you look up the local offer as suggested above any charities in your area should be listed. My DS isn't too bad with food but has got worse during lockdown because of the stress and change. If your DS is feeling stressed it may be better to focus on stopping him getting worse rather than trying to expand what he eats at this time.

FamilyG279 · 30/05/2020 19:48

Thank you, All this advice is great. I will definitely look into this. He has been a lot better the last few days. He has eaten mash, eggs and chicken dinosaurs. He has also been calmer and slept better. I ordered some pillow mist, Chamomile and lavender, not sure if this is just a coincidence but with all his sensory issues, he actually likes this smell.
Again Really appreciate the advice.

lorisparkle · 30/05/2020 19:53

I have found occupational therapists can be exceptionally useful for sensory difficulties (including food issues). We were meant to be having a group session with our local occupational therapists and instead they emailed some information and offered telephone chats.

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