Foster and awareness of autism matters

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Foster and awareness of autism matters

Another in our series where we set out to provide some general information relating to aspects of fostering children that require a particular awareness. If you are the kind of foster carer willing to give extra time and are confident you will be able to cope with the additional physical demands, you might think of making a speciality of fostering children with complex needs. At Rainbow fostering we provide excellent support for foster carers who are keen to acquire the additional skills needed.

Foster: Autism and (Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD) matter

Support if you foster a child with autism

Foster a child with autism or aspergers

These are general terms that are in use to describe a group of complex brain development disorders. These show up to varying degrees in difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication. A symptom is marked repetitive behaviour: the most obvious signs of autism usually become apparent when a child reaches the age of two to three years. Autism is regarded as a lifelong developmental disability. It affects one in one hundred people impacting on how people communicate and relate to others, as well as the manner in which they experience the world around them. Individuals on the autism spectrum can also experience an under or over sensitivity affecting various of their senses: these include touch, taste, smell, light, colours or even sounds.

Autism is a fairly common condition with roughly 700,000 people in the UK on the autism spectrum. Taking into account other family members, the total number affected by the consequences of autism in some way or another, is 2.8 million people.

There are three main areas that all people with autism share in common. These areas of difficulty are often referred to as the ‘triad of impairments’: they are –

• difficulty with social communication

difficulty with social imagination

difficulty with social interaction

Autism is referred to as a spectrum condition. People who have the condition can be very individual in terms of their precise needs. Autistic people can be relatively independent, but others may need to rely upon specialist support throughout their lives. If you foster with Rainbow, as providers of independent foster care services, we can offer high quality training and support around the management of this particular condition.

Some people may have a ‘dual diagnosis’: ­it may be that they also have Down’s syndrome as well as autism. Asperger’s syndrome is another form of autism. It too causes communication difficulties as well as emotional problems. People with Asperger’s syndrome, however, can have fewer difficulties with speaking and are less likely to have a learning disability.

Currently there is no cure for autism, but there are certain interventions that can be made to facilitate learning and development. If you foster young people with autism, be aware they will need additional support with their education.

If you are a foster carer and want more information we would recommend visiting –

Considering you might foster children? Then explore ‘Rainbow Rewards’

Rainbow pay a fostering bonus of £500 so if you can refer someone to be a carer: you’ll receive the money once your referral has been approved. And the first placement has been accepted. Foster carers transferring to the Rainbow can also benefit from a bonus once approved to foster with Rainbow, this will be a payment made for foster carers who already look after youngsters on a long-term basis.

And the good news at the end of this particular rainbow…only five more shopping days to go before Christmas and we now have a selection of pictures from our Special Anniversary Annual Foster Carer Awards on Facebook (more to come). And remember to follow us at

More Fostering News – to keep you informed and up to date

Remember to check our foster news site providing stories of interest to everyone involved in fostering youngsters. The latest piece: ‘Foster homes urgently needed in Somerset for asylum seekers.’ December 20th, 2016. To catch up with this and other recent items, visit:

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