Supporting an Autistic Person

Student first aid supporting an autistic person

Autism encompasses a wide range of neurodevelopmental conditions, challenges and abilities, which present differently in each autistic individual.

In Australia, one in every 100 people is diagnosed as Autistic, yet only 29 per cent of Australians say they know how to support an autistic person*.

Here are 6 ways to support an autistic person:

1. Speak in literal terms, and be clear and specific in meaning

2. Ask one question at a time, giving the person the opportunity to process information and consider a response.

3. Ask about sensory sensitivities to help avoid situations or environments where these may be overwhelming.

4. Give instructions in advance, and explain any sudden changes in plan or routine to avoid distress.

5. In the event of a meltdown, help by clearing some space, moving onlookers away, and not engaging or asking questions until the person is ready.

6. Understand that autism:
  • is typically a life-long developmental condition 
  • affects how individuals communicate, interact, experience interests and behaviours, and make sense of the world
  • is present in all racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups
  • is a different experience for every person


*Amaze/Autism Connect