Guide to professional help

The purpose of this section is to explain what each of the following professional service providers do. Find out who they are, what they do and how they may support you and your child on the autism spectrum.


A Paediatrician is a medical doctor who specialises in the medical care of infants, children and teenagers.

Psychologist / Clinical Psychologist

Clinical and other psychologists - sometimes called ‘psychs’. Psychologists help people when there are troubles thinking, learning new skills and behaving. They can help people when their emotions or feelings are hard to manage. Sometimes psychologists work with people in groups. Sometimes they will talk to people by themselves. They often help parents learn new ways to teach their child about behaving and playing.

Speech Pathologist / Therapist

Speech Pathologists are sometimes called ‘speechies’. They can help adults and children to communicate. They can find out if a child is learning how to talk at the same rate as other children. Speech pathologist can help if there are problems with speech sounds, the words a child uses or the way they talk to different people. Sometimes they can help with reading.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists (OT) help children and adults with moving, doing things for themselves and thinking. They can help children learn to play. Sometimes they can help a child who has trouble coping with loud sounds or bright lights. They can also help with things like toilet training, drawing and climbing.

Social Workers

Social workers help people to improve the person’s quality of life.  Social workers can provide counselling and provide emotional support. They can help with practical supports too.


Audiologists help with hearing. They are specialists who can find out if children or adults have hearing problems. They can help people to hear better. They might help find out if a child has ‘glue ear’ which can stop a child from hearing properly. 


Physiotherapists help people of all ages to move and function better.


Teachers help children learn a set of skills including reading and writing. They have undertaken teacher training which included planning and catering for children with diverse learning styles.