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Increasing awareness of signs of autism in children

A new film is aiming to improve front-line professionals’ understanding and awareness of autism in children
The idea for this film, ‘The Birthday Party’, came about following the National ASD Development Team’s consultation with autistic individuals, parents and carers which found gaps in provision and the need for increased awareness and understanding of autism by professionals.
The film is a partnership project between the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Cardiff University, Aston University and clinical psychology partners.  It has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Welsh Government and is designed to help front-line professionals to identify the signs of autism in children. 

Positive feedback from a wide sample of parents and professionals has led to the film also being made available to the wider public.
Professor Sue Leekam, Chair in Autism, Director of the Wales Autism Research Centre, Cardiff University, explains: “The signs of autism can often be missed but it is crucial for professionals to recognise them so they can make an appropriate referral for diagnosis and obtain the right support from health, social care and/or education services. It has been fantastic to use our research findings and clinical knowledge on autism assessment to make this film in partnership with the National ASD team, based in WLGA. We hope everyone who watches the film will better recognise the basic signs of autism, be aware that signs can present in different ways, and know that there is a recognisable pattern in which these signs are seen together.”
Steve Thomas CBE, WLGA Chief Executive said: “I am proud of the work that is being done to improve understanding of autism in children. This film, which can be viewed by front-line professionals and the wider public alike, will hopefully contribute to change perceptions and in turn improve the provision of services available to children with autism.”
The film is available to watch on . For more information and resources related to autism, please visit .