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Autism, and the related Asperger syndrome, are part of a range of disorders that can cause difficulties with communication and social skills. The range of conditions are known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They are a set of related disorders that begin in childhood and persist throughout adulthood.
ASD can cause a wide range of symptoms, which are grouped into three broad categories:
- Problems and difficulties with social interaction, such as a lack of understanding and awareness of other people's emotions and feelings.
- Impaired language and communication skills, such as delayed language development and an inability to start conversations or take part in them properly.
- Unusual patterns of thought and physical behaviour. This includes making repetitive physical movements, such as hand tapping or twisting. The child develops set routines of behaviour, which can upset the child if the routines are broken.
There is currently no cure for ASD, but there are a range of treatments that can improve the symptoms listed above.
ASSIST (Autism Support Signposting Information Services Team) and is part of The National Autistic Society. ASSIST is commissioned by Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea local authorities to provide free support for adults on the autism spectrum.
Kensington and Chelsea
Ladbroke Grove Autism centre. Run by the National Autism Society, the centre offers a safe and supportive environment in which children, young people and adults can meet other people, try new activities, explore interests and develop their confidence and independence. We also offer support and training to families, carers and professionals.
Snowflake School for children with autism. Snowflake is a new independent school which provides quality services for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
The NHS Choices website provides more detailed information on autism spectrum disorder.
The Foundation for People With Learning Disabilities has produced a leaflet called What is autistic spectrum disorder?
The Easy Health website have gathered together various easy-read leaflets which can help people with autism to better understand their condition.
Ambitious About Autism are a national charity for children and young people with autism. They provide services, raise awareness and understanding, and campaign for change.
Their Talk About Autism initiative offers a safe and friendly online community where you can share experiences, get support, and discuss autism.
The National Autistic Society is a leading UK charity for people with autism (including Aspergers syndrome) and their families. They provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism.
If you have autism and you want to find out more about it the National Autistic Society have provided easy-read information about autism.
Autism Independent UK exists to increase awareness of autism, together with well established and newly developed approaches in the diagnosis, assessment, education and treatment. The main goal is to improve the quality of life for people with autism.