Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is a life long developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

Autism is often referred to as autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, because while all people with autism share certain difficulties it will affect them all differently and at varied levels of severity. Some people with Autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may also have other learning disabilities that will mean that they will need a lifetime of specialist support.

Autism affects 1 in 100 people.

Symptoms & Behaviours

People with Autism may also experience over or under sensitivity to sounds, touch, smells, light or colours.

There are three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share. These areas are often referred to as the, 'triad of impairments' and include:

  • difficulty with social communication
  • difficulty with social interaction
  • difficulty with social imagination

Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism and is therefore also an Autism Spectrum Disorder. People with Asperger's syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

Useful Resources

For further information on Autism and Asperger's Syndrome please click on the following links to the National Autistic Society's information pages which can be downloaded and printed.

Autism link:

Asperger's Syndrome link:

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