NASThe National Autistic Society (NAS) has welcomed the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) publication of guidelines for the management and support of young people with autism.

The NAS said the guidelines will help professionals to work better with families of children and young people with autism, but also called for more research into the condition.

NICE clinical guidelines advise the NHS on caring for people with specific conditions or diseases and the treatments they should receive. The information applies to people using the NHS in England and Wales.

Dizzying amount of competing autism claimsMark Lever, chief executive of the NAS, said: “Like other parents, the parents of children or young people with autism want the best for their son or daughter and often look for therapies and interventions that will help them in their day to day lives. Some also hope for a ‘cure’ for the lifelong disability, which is controversial.

“Typing ‘autism’ into search engines comes up with a dizzying amount of competing claims and information which can leave parents bewildered and feeling vulnerable, and too often bold and irresponsible claims are made without any supporting evidence.

“These guidelines will help health professionals work better with families and provide clear guidance on the best way to use therapies and interventions based on existing evidence.

“The guidelines also underline that claims of a ‘cure’ for autism are without foundation and set out that the right support tailored to each child or young person with autism will help them to live a happy and fulfilling life.

“Autism can be challenging but the right support at the right time can make all the difference and implementation of these recommendations would be a step towards achieving this goal. But more research in this area is still urgently needed.”