Autism spectrum disorder

Autism is a developmental disability. It's sometimes called an autism spectrum disorder or ASD. The word 'spectrum' is used because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some are able to live relatively independently while others will need a lifetime of specialist care and support.

The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are with:

  • social communication
  • social interaction
  • social imagination

Asperger’s syndrome

Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism. People with asperger’s syndrome have fewer problems with speech. They don't usually have the learning disabilities associated with autism, but they may have specific learning difficulties.  

Autism alert card

Autism Alert CardThe Autism alert card is designed to tell people about the condition. It has been developed in consultation with adults who have autism and parents. The card helps address the unique challenges faced by people with autism who are victims of crime and accidents. The Autism alert card helps make sure those with the condition are quickly identified by police and emergency services.

The Autism alert card can also be used in a day-to-day context, helping ease communication and understanding challenges. For example, when someone with autism is going to the dentist, doctor or accessing Accident and Emergency or even going shopping, at a social event, using leisure facilities or public transport.

You can apply for an Autism alert card online, there is a small charge.