A new online community for autism professionals has been launched by the National Autistic Society (NAS).

Network Autism provides an online space where autism professionals can engage and communicate directly and access constantly updated and exclusive content. The Network, which is hosted and maintained by the NAS, was unveiled and officially launched at the NAS' Professional Conference on February 28. More than 600 professionals from across the UK have registered to join.

Carol Povey, director of the NAS Centre for Autism, said: "There are countless professionals up and down the country who dedicate each day to delivering outstanding services and progress for people with autism. Many of them do so without a close network of support - often they are the only expert in a team, organisation or geographical area. Network Autism is our chance to connect those dots, to share good practice and develop solutions to problems that sometimes can't be fixed alone. We are in a time of unprecedented change in the sector and Network Autism is a strong foundation upon which we can work to build the best possible outcomes for people with autism." Network Autism members will be able to have open and closed discussions, set up special interest groups and take advantage of and contribute to an extensive resource library.

Professor Tony Charman, from the Centre for Research in Autism and Education at the University of London's Institute of Education, is a partner in Network Autism. He said: "The Network is place where we can share the latest information about research, discuss what it means for different professionals and, ultimately, work together to improve outcomes for people with autism, their families and carers."

Network Autism is free to join and is open to all professionals who work in an autism-related field. You can register for the network at: www.autism.org.uk/networkautism.