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What is autism? / What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects the way a person communicates with other people and relates to the world around them. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently. They often find the world around them overwhelming.

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism used to describe people who are usually at the higher functioning end of the spectrum. The majority of people with Asperger’s Syndrome become independent as adults, many marry and some display exceptional gifts, though retaining the unusual quality of their social interactions.

What should I do if I suspect that my child (under 5) has autism?

The child is referred to the consultant paediatrician and is then referred to the Early Years Social Communication Team.

What should I do if I suspect that my child (aged between 5 and 18) has autism?

You will need to see your GP, health visitor or your child’s teacher if you think that your child is showing symptoms of autism spectrum condition (ASC), or you’re worried about their development. This may help you to compare your child’s development and behaviours with others of a similar age and get an opinion from someone else who knows the child well.

How does an adult go about getting a diagnosis?

Adults that are looking for an autism diagnostic assessment need to complete a referral form. You can refer yourself, or ask a GP.

What’s it like from the perspective of a grandparent?

We spoke to Mary about her experience as Granny to Charlie.

What should I do if I see a child having a meltdown in a public place?

One of the toughest things that a parent or carer with an autistic child faces is when the child has a meltdown in a public place, maybe at an airport or a supermarket or in the middle of the street.