Autism and Asperger’s syndrome are part of a group of similar conditions called autistic spectrum conditions (ASC).
Autism is a disorder that you are born with which can affect the way you think and feel. It affects how you communicate with and relate to other people. It also affects how you make sense of the world around you. Autism is known as a spectrum as some people are affected by it far more than others.
The signs of autism include:
- finding it difficult to read other people’s body language, understanding jokes, sarcasm, or facial expressions and common phrases
- finding it difficult to recognise or understand other people’s emotions and feelings, and you may have difficulties expressing how you feel
- preferring familiar routines
- having intense and specific interests in things
- having repetitive movements such as twisting your fingers.
Asperger’s syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger’s syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and communication with other people.
People who are on the autistic spectrum may not know they have it. It is normally recognised by other people like teachers or parents, but it is usually diagnosed by health professionals.
Autism is not a mental health problem, but many people with autism also have a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or OCD.
There is no cure for autism or Asperger’s syndrome but with help you can learn how to deal with it and make the most of it so it is important that you talk to someone to get help. People on the autism spectrum can be very good at some things, even if they have difficulty with others.
If you want to know more about autism or Asperger’s syndrome and the help you can get you might find these websites useful: