...a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
Click here for the Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Sensory Processing Guide
Find out more from the National Autistic Society, and in Easy Read.
Autism: recognition, referral, diagnosis and management of adults on the autism spectrum.
NICE have issued a guide which includes:
General principles of care
Identification and assessment
Identifying the correct interventions and monitoring their use
Interventions for autism
Interventions for challenging behaviour
Interventions for coexisting mental disorders
Assessment and interventions for families, partners and carers
Organisation and delivery of care
Autism: recognition, referral, diagnosis and management of adults on the autism spectrum. Issued: June 2012 NICE clinical guideline 142.This clinical guideline offers evidence-based advice on the diagnosis and management of autism in adults.
Autism: Summary and Implementation Tools from NICE
Autism: Summary and other links from The Mental Elf
The National Autistic Society UK Charity for people with autism (including Asperger Syndrome) and their families
Self-help books on autistic-spectrum disorders
Autism and Asperger's Syndrome: Information for Parents, Carers, and anyone who works with young people
Contact a Family guide for parents - Siblings - includes parent to parent tips and personal stories from brothers and sisters, as well as updated sources of support and useful resources for parents and professionals working with disabled children
Asperger's syndrome explained for children on YouTube
The Autism Act 2009 and Strategy
Autism Quality Standards from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)