Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

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Autism (ASD)

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ASD stands for Austism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism cover a wide range of conditions, the ‘spectrum’ bit describes the fact that people with autism share certain difficulties, but are all affected in slightly different ways.

What does autism look like?

If you have autism you may learn to cope by developing routines and if these are interrupted, you’ll find it very stressful making unexpected changes in life sometimes quite a struggle.

You may also find challenging how you experience sights, sounds or touch.

School can be a tough place when you have autism. You really need support from your family, friends and your school who will know a lot about how to help you when you’re not finding things easy. They will be able to support with putting different plans in place to make things easier for you.

If you have ASD or autism you may sometimes:

  • struggle to get on with people socially
  • find it hard to understand other people’s emotions and feelings
  • find it difficult to clearly understand what people are saying
  • take things literally when they’re not meant that way or find sarcasm or jokes confusing
  • play in a repetitive way, preferring to play with objects rather than people
  • have difficulty starting conversations or taking part in them properly
  • develop a strong interest in particular activities or topics
  • enjoy having a familiar routine

When does it happen?

Autism can normally be diagnosed in children at around the age of two. The exact cause of ASD is unknown, but it’s thought that genetic and environmental factors are involved.

Asperger syndrome

Asperger syndrome is a type of autism. Most people with Asperger syndrome don’t have a learning disability, but often find understanding feelings and relationships difficult.

Find out more

For useful resources about ASD check out the National Austism Society website.

What can I do?

You can see your GP or health visitor if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of ASD. As a parent, it can also be helpful to discuss your concerns with your child’s nursery or school.

For more information on ASD visit Young Minds or find out how you can get support from our services.

Last updated: 8 March, 2018