How to guides for Network Autism

The 'how to' guides are here to help you enjoy and make the most of Network Autism. Please read the below guides to assist you in setting up groups and discussions, reading and accessing content and networking with other professionals.

Before setting up a group or discussion, please check to see whether an existing group or discussion already exists.

How to guide

Here we’ll show you how to set up discussions and groups on Network Autism allowing you to communicate and share with others on the community. You can then ask advice and support from your fellow community members, share resources and network with others.

How to guide for:


How to make a post in a discussion forum (also applies for group discussions)

  • Go to the discussion tab in the top navigation bar:

  • The discussion page has details of different discussion forums:


  • Clicking on the discussion forums will take you to a list of discussions in that forum:

  • Click on the discussion you are interested in, you will then be taken to that discussion:


  • The original post for the discussion will always appear on the top of the discussion posts in a grey box.
  • Your message box for posting a comment will always display below the other posts:


  • This is where you can post your comment. The message box works like a word processing program, such as word.
  • You can use the extra options in the grey icon tray at the top of the message box to enhance your text. The icons include:


  • Bold
  • Italics
  • Underline
  • Paste
  • Paste as plain text
  • Paste from word
  • Spell check
  • Spell check as you type
  • Numbered list
  • Bullet list
  • Increase indent
  • Block quotes
  • Smileys
  • Add a link
  • Once you have written your message click the ‘submit’ box to publish your message.


How to set up a discussion

Setting up a discussion is quick and easy. Follow the below steps to publish your own discussion topic.

Go to the discussion tab in the top navigation bar:

You will need to choose the discussion forum where your discussion will sit. For example, if it relates to diagnosis, then within the diagnosis forum(link here).


The forum topic areas are quite broad but you can set up more specific discussions within these forums. For example, within the ‘education forum’ you could set up a discussion topic on ‘the use of sensory rooms in primary schools for children with autism’.

To begin setting up the discussion, click on the relevant forum title link.


You will then be taken to the forum page where you can set up your new discussion. Click on the ‘start a new discussion’ tab:

This will take you to the ‘create a discussion’ page.


  • You can enter the subject title for your discussion in the ‘subject’ box. This will be the public name of the discussion and will be how people will be able to search for and recognise your discussion. Try to choose a clear and precise title that will be meaningful to other professionals.
  • The ‘forums’ tab will already be set and wont need to be changed.
  • You will need to write a message in the ‘body’ of the page, this will be where you post your summary or purpose of the discussion. This maybe a question, general discussion topic etc… This may also include links to an interesting article, a piece of research that you want to share and get feedback on.
  • You can subscribe to the discussion by ticking the ‘subscribe’ box. This will mean that you get a notification email for each response to your discussion.


Congratulations, you have now set up a group for fellow Network Autism members!


How to set up a group

Setting up a group is quick and easy. Follow the below steps to set up your own group(s).

  • Go to the group tab in the top navigation bar:

Click on the ‘set up a group’ tab:

  • You will then be taken through to the ‘set up a group’ page, see below:

  • Then choose the title for your group. This will be the public name of the group and will be how people will be able to search for and recognise your group. Try to choose a clear and precise title that will be meaningful to other professionals.
  • Then choose the related areas that your groups will be tagged with (categorised on Network Autism). You can choose as many as you like but 1-3 as a general rule is sufficient. For example, the choices include:


·  Diagnosis

·  Autism - general

·  Asperger Syndrome – general

·  Health

·  Life stages (e.g. ageing)

·  Women and girls

·  Friendships and relationships

·  Behaviour

·  Sensory issues


  • Then write a brief description of your group in the body of the ‘group description’ section. Keeping this precise and clear will be helpful for other professionals when deciding to join your group. If you choose to set up a closed group, it is always helpful to include the following sentence so you can identify or contact them if they are unfamiliar to you from just their username - For verification purposes, please supply your email address when requesting access to this group. 
  • The last section of this page is to decide whether your group is an open or closed group.
  • Open - content is public and membership requests are accepted immediately.
  • Closed - content is private and membership requests must be approved by you. Please see below guide for administrating your own group.
  • Choose the type of group you would prefer by ticking the appropriate tick box.
  • Click save and the group will be sent to the Network Autism Manager to be approved. The Network Autism manager will check that a similar group isn’t already in existence and the appropriateness of the group against the terms and conditions for Network Autism. Approval will normally be complete in 1-2 days.


Searching for a group


On the groups homepage you will find a search block:

You can search for a group in two different ways.

  • Search box
  • Filter search

Search box

  • If you know the group name that you are looking for you can type this into the search box:

  • The search results will show under the search box

Filter Search

  • If you are trying to search for general groups around particular topic areas you may want to try the filter search:

  • You can choose an initial topic area from the drop down list

  • The four areas are general taxonomies that all groups will be listed under.
  • Autism
  • Services and support
  • Law, rights and money
  • Everyday life
  • Family and carers


  • If you are unsure, autism is also a good starting point. When you have chosen a filter the filtered results will appear below the search block.
  • Once you have chosen the topic area you will then be given an additional dropdown box to further refine your search

  • The second dropdown box.

  • You can then choose one of these additional filters. These will vary depending on the first search filter but will include:
  • Diagnosis
  • Asperger general
  • Communication
  • The refined search results will show below the search box


Joining a group

Once you have found a group that you want to join you will need to formally join that group.

  • Click on the group you want to join from the search results or the groups block on the righthand side of the groups and discussion pages.
  • Then click on ‘subscribe to group’.

  • You will then be asked to confirm you want to join the group – click join to confirm

  • If it is a public open group you will automatically be granted access.
  • If it is a private closed group the group administrator will need to accept you as a member.


Adding documents to a group

When you have set up or joined a group you may want to add documents to the group.

  • When on the group landing page go to the documents tab

  • You will then be taken to the documents page

  • Click on ‘upload a file’
  • You will then be taken to the below page

To add the document you will need to:

  • Fill in the title of the document; this is the name that will be displayed to other community members. Try to choose something that is clear and concise.
  • Add the file by clicking browse and finding the relevant document on your PC.
  • Once you have selected your document click ‘upload’ to upload the document ready for saving.
  • Add a small description of the document in the ‘description’ section if you want to give more detail.
  • Click ‘save’ to save and store the document onto Network Autism.
  • Once the document has been successfully saved you will be able to view it in the group landing page under ‘latest group documents’ and via the documents tab.



Deleting documents from a group

You can only delete documents that you have added to the group.  

  • When on the group landing page go to the documents tab

  • You will then be taken to the documents page where you’ll see the documents listed in the group files.

  • Click on your document title as highlighted in red below:

  • You will then be taken to the below page:

  • Click the edit tab to be taken to the below page:

  • Click ‘delete’ to remove the file.
  • You will be asked to confirm you decision. Click delete to confirm.


Administrating and managing your own closed group

If you choose the closed option for your group you will need to administrate who can join the group. You can also use these same steps to manage the membership of your group.

  • You will be sent an email when someone has requested to join your group. This will give you a link to the section of the website where you can action the request – your group home page.

  • Click on the group tab:

  • This will take you to the below screen

  • Click the ‘people’ link to manage the people in your group. You will then be taken to the below screen.

  • Check the tick box of the member you would like to update.
  • Open the drop down box called ‘update options’.

  •  This allows you to choose the appropriate action for the selected user.
    • Approve membership
    • Deny membership
    • Block membership
    • Add a new role – administrator (allows the user to administrate the group)
    • Remove a role – administrator
  • Choose the appropriate option by clicking onto it. You then will need to click the yellow update box to publish your group:


Quoting a post

You can quote an existing post, i.e. bring that post into the body of your message.

  • Click on the ‘quote’ icon on the top right handside of the post you wish to quote:

  • This will then bring that text into your message as below:

  • The quote appears in between two bracketed quote references – these will appear as quote marks in the published message. You can then write your message underneath.
  • It will then appear as below in the published message:


Using links

You can add links in any posts you make on Network Autism.

You can add a link by either:

  • ‘cutting and pasting’ it from another document
  • Using the link icon in the grey icon tray of the message body (world with linking chain)

When you click on this icon a pop up screen will appear

Click the ‘link type’ drop down tab to see the three options

  • URL
  • Link to anchor in the text
  • email

  • URL – this allows you to enter the link URL into the text
  • Link to an anchor – not applicable with discussions
  • Email allows you to add a link to an email address – please consider careful when giving yours or others email addresses.

In most cases you should use just the URL option.

To add the URL link

  • You can either just add the link own its own or highlight some text you want to link from.
  • Then choose the link type ‘URL’ and then write or copy your URL in the URL section and click the ‘ok’ button.

  • You can also choose how the link will appear via the target tab

  • Choose the different ways the link will open:
    • Not set
    • Frame
    • Pop up window
    • Top most window
    • Same window
    • Parent window
  • To add an email, choose link type ‘email’ and then add the details as shown below:

Flagging a post

If you feel a post is inappropriate or concerning you can flag this for the attention of the Network Autism Manager.

  • Flag a post by clicking on the ‘report’ icon:

  • This will take you through to the report page.

  • Please don’t change the ‘content title’ or ‘content URL’, these are already set.
  • Add your reason for reporting the post in the body of the ‘reason’ section. Please let us know why you have flagged the post so we can be clear of the reason for the report and so we don’t need to contact again unnecessarily.
  • The Network Autism Manager will then review the post and in line with the terms and conditions will take the appropriate action.

If you feel that the incorrect action has been taken please contact the  Network Autism Manager at


Subscribing to a post

You may want to subscribe to other community members posts.

  • Click on the subscribe icon on the top right handside of the message body:

  • You will then be taken to the below page where you will need to confirm that you want to subscribe to the discussion:

  • You will now receive emails notification of updates to the particular discussion.


Managing your subscriptions to posts

Once you have subscribed to a post you can review and unsubscribe to these is two ways.

  • Firstly, you can unsubscribe to a particular post when you are viewing that discussion by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ icon:

  • Secondly, you can access and manage all of your subscriptions by going to the ‘My Network Autism’ link in the top right header block next to the sign out icon:

  • This will take you to your 'My Network Autism' page:

  • Here you can access your email subscriptions by clicking the ‘My Alerts’ link.
  • You will then be taken to the following page:

  • Here you can unsubscribe to your discussions by clicking the unsubscribe link to the right of any discussions you are apart of, you will then be taken to the confirmation screen below.

  • Click unsubscribe to confirm

Manage you group email notifications

You can also manage your group email notifications from your 'My Network Autism' page. Group email notifications are active when you join a group, meaning that a notification will be automatically sent to you when a post is made in that group.

  • go to the ‘My Network Autism’ link in the top right header block next to the sign out icon:

  • This will take you to the your 'My Network Autism' page:

  • Click the 'My Alerts' tab to be taken to the below page:

  • From this page you can either:
    •  switch off group email notifications by unticking the group notifications tick box and clicking save
    • Or, set up either a daily or weekly digest of activity to replace instant group notifications by selecting the preferred option in the dropdown menu.

How to manage my profile

  • To manage your profile go to the ‘My Network Autism’ link in the top right header, next to the sign out icon:


  • You will be taken to your 'My Network Autism' page:

  • Here you can access your Network Autism profile by clicking the ‘Update Profile’ link.
  • You will then be taken to the NAS Network Autism profile page that you set up during the registration process
  • Here you will be able to edit your profile details, such as photo, region etc…


Manage your account settings

  • You can also manage your wider account settings, such as changing your email address via your profile page.
  • Access your profile page by clicking the ‘My Network Autism’ link in the top right header, next to the sign out icon:


  • You'll be taken to your 'My Network Autism' page

  • Click on the 'Update Profile' tab
  • You'll be taken to your 'Network Autism profile page' page.
  • Click the ‘my account’ link on the top of the page.

  • You will then be taken to the below page where you can amend your:
  • Account settings
  • Contact preferences
  • Personal details
  • Community profile (if you have one)
  • Network Autism profile


  • Once you have amended your details you can get back to Network Autism by clicking the Network Autism block and then clicking the ‘update profile’ block at the bottom of the profile page.

How to submit content

The Network Autism community is built on the collaboration and shared knowledge of professionals across the autism sector. We would like to encourage all members of Network Autism to share their ideas, experiences, resources and expertise. To find out more click here.