Health and social care workers should be trained to meet the needs of children and young people with autism, NICE has recommended.
The recommendations form part of a new clinical guideline on the management and support of the condition in children and young people.
Training for health and social care workers should include the recognition of common coexisting conditions, including mental health problems, sleep problems and ADHD.
Professor Mark Baker, centre for clinical practice director, NICE, said: “Many of us find it very difficult to engage with children or young people with autism as they can struggle to communicate or relate to people around them.
“But good communication with young people on the autism spectrum can have a huge impact on their daily lives – so it’s particularly important for healthcare workers to do it well. There is no cure for autism, but there are treatments that can help.”