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Autism and Asperger syndrome are both part of a range of related developmental disorders known as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). They begin in childhood and last through adulthood.

ASD can cause a wide range of symptoms, which are grouped into three categories:

  • problems and difficulties with social interaction - including lack of understanding and awareness of other people's emotions and feelings
  • impaired language and communication skills - including delayed language development and an inability to start conversations or take part in them properly
  • unusual patterns of thought and physical behaviour - including making repetitive physical movements, such as hand tapping or twisting 

Support is available for people with ASD from Adult Social Care and from other organisations.  Contact your local Adult Social Care office for more information.

You can apply for a free alert card to alert the emergency services that the person carrying the card has a condition that may require special attention.