What is autism understood?

Simply put, Autism Understood is a website about autism, for autistic young people. 

The website was created by Spectrum Gaming, a registered charity. Spectrum Gaming is a community for autistic young people which has three main intended outcomes:

  1. Building friendships: We wanted to create a community where autistic young people feel comfortable and can make strong friendships in a safe way. Our main provision is our online community, that anyone from across the UK can access. We also run meet ups for young people who live in the Greater Manchester area.

  2. Increasing Self-Acceptance: We want to make sure as many autistic people as possible are able to accept their differences and live the happiest lives they can.

  3. Advocacy – We aim to create a movement that will have a positive influence on society through advocacy, and enable strategic change to ensure the needs of autistic young people are met across the UK. 

Why did we create autism understood?

When young people are told they are autistic, they are rarely told what this actually means. Professionals and parents are invited to courses and have tons of resources aimed at them, but what about the person who receives the diagnosis? This makes no sense to us.

There is also a lot of misinformation about autism online, so we wanted to make sure there is a place where young people can find reputable information about autism.

It was agreed that information for autistic young people is a huge gap in strategic groups through the Greater Manchester Autis Consortium. As a result, Manchester Foundation Trust CAMHS and the Greater Manchester Autism Hub provided financial support to help make this website possible.

How did we create the website?

A LOT of people worked together to create this website. Developing it followed this process:
  • Autistic young people, adults, parents and professionals wrote content on each of the topics listed on the website.
  • Each article was reviewed by a team of autistic young people and autistic adults from Spectrum Gaming, to check all content was affirming and could be understood by young people.
  • The page was uploaded – and we added images and memes (where applicable) to finish it off.

who contributed to the website?

A huge number of awesome people contributed to the website, and we are so grateful to everyone for making it a reality. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

With thanks to mft camhs and the gm autism hub who provided financial support to complete this project
Autistic Young People

Fireball67, young person
VexSG, young person
Noodle-fox, age 13
Soph, age 13
Tom, age 14
Turner, age 17
Vanna, young person
Flaming_Foxy, young person
Esmé, age 11
Lily, age 12
Alex Mouland, age 12
Corben Marrs, age 16
Dylan, age 12
Toby, age 15
Ybricc, young person
George, age 13
H, age 16
Hannah, age 12
Bass, age 12
Sophia, age 10
Reuben, age 16
MIA, age 14
Jacob, age 12
Henry, age 13
Zach, age 12
Will, age 11
Wither, age 14

Jack M, age 13
Edward, young person
Jay, age 11
Archie Thomas, age 13
Jojo, age 13
Saffy, age 10
G4mer, age 12
Hannah, age 15
Jude, age 13
Sagicmanic, young person
Corben, age 16
Aaron, age 10
Abigail, age 14
Alistair Cox, young person
MegaCool2007, young person
Lilyleaf979, young person
Zakataka, age 7
C, age 9
Peter, age 11
Leo Kelly, young person
Lilja, age 11
Luke, age 13
Aus, age 13
Reuben, age 15
Dan, age 13
Malakai, age 13
And more!


Kirstie McStay, Autistic Parent, Under 13 Community Manager at Spectrum Gaming

Bobbie Gilham, Neurodivergent Parent of Autistic Teenager, Admin at Spectrum Gaming

Claire Lowen, Changemaker & LGBT Lead, Spectrum Gaming

Callum Barrack, Youth Worker at Spectrum Gaming

Andy Smith, Founder of Spectrum Gaming

Hanna Venton-Platz, Clinical Psychologist, Spectrum Gaming

Nanny Aut, Founder of Autistic Village and Inside Aut

Kathy Leadbitter, Researcher at the University of Manchester

Kate Laine-Toner, autistic adult and Director of Autism… Where Do I Start? 

Jude Esau, autistic adult, Children and Families Manager for AIM (Autism Inclusion Matters) IOW 

Zoe Karakikla-Mitsakou, parent 

Elisabeth Kelly, parent

R, parent

J, parent

Bridget M. Bartlett, autistic adult, educator, and PhD candidate

Leneh Buckle, autistic autism researcher and mum of 3

Zoe Williams, autistic parent and writer

Amy Laurent, PHD, OTR/L, Co-director Autism Level Up!

Jacquelyn Fede, PhD, Co-Director Autism Level UP!

The Sensory Occupational Therapy Team at Rehabilitation For Independence

Venessa Bobb-Swaby, A2ndVoice

Katie Munday, autistic adult, Autistic and Living the Dream

Natasha Hallam, SLT at SmallTalk Speech & Language Therapy

Danny Van Deurzen-Smith, autistic adult and coach

Fergus Murray, autistic science teacher and co-founder of AMASE

Kate Boot, AuDHD Speech & Language Therapist, Sensory Integration Practitioner & Relationships & Sex Education Practitioner

Lisa Chapman, Mum to an autistic young person, Speech and Language Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

Matthew Harrison, autistic adult and staff neurodiversity representative at The University of Manchester

Helen Edgar, parent /teacher /family support

Kirsteen Wilshere, neurodivergent adult and social worker

Steve Williams, Autistic Adult

Lynn McCann, Autism, ADHD and PDA Specialist Teacher and author

Chris Bonnello (Autistic Not Weird)- autistic advocate, speaker, author and former teacher

Beth Decker

Kyra Chambers, Autistic, ADHD, PDA Adult. Founder of The Prism Cat : Reflections On Neurodiversity

Leneh Buckle, autistic autism researcher and mum of 5

Kristy Forbes, autistic adult, director – edicator, autism & neurodiversity support

Rachel Sadler

Wendy Binnie, autistic adult

Anna Veal, neurodivergent parent to neurodivergent children

And more!

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