Autism and Asperger's

Autism

Autism affects the way that a person communicates and relates to other people. It crosses all intellectual abilities, nationalities and cultures, but is more common in boys than girls.

Early diagnosis is difficult because people with autism can display a wide range of characteristics in varying degrees. People with autism look just like anybody else without the disability. People with autism often have difficulty with language and communication and with forming social relationships. They find it difficult to play or use their imagination and their motor and co-ordination skills may be affected.

Other features include challenging or repetitive behaviour and resisting any change to their routine. Autism can't be cured, but people diagnosed with it can achieve a better quality of life with the right support, treatment and education.

Asperger’s

Asperger’s syndrome is a  form of autism at the more able end of the autism spectrum. People with Asperger’s are often of average or above average intelligence. There are three main aspects to Asperger syndrome:

  • Difficulty with communication
    Though people will often have a wide vocabulary and be able to talk at length on a favourite subject, they will have little awareness of the reactions of their listener.
  • Difficulty with relationships
    They will often be loners, aware of others’ relationships but unaware of how to make their own.
  • Difficulty with empathy or imagination
    They will find it hard to pick up non –verbal signals and have difficulty understanding the reactions of others.