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Asperger’s and Autism

World Autism awareness day as a mental health concept and Autistic social developmental education disorder symbol as a child special learning icon with the support of caregivers shaped as a heart.

Asperger’s (or Asperger’s syndrome) and Autism are now considered to be part of the same spectrum of disorders known as Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Being spectrum conditions, many may have little or no challenges with communication or social interaction – whilst others will experience significant challenges in these areas. It is also worth noting that many with ASD themselves, their friends, and families, no longer consider that labels such as ‘higher functioning and (particularly) ‘lower functioning’ are helpful or appropriate.

Those at all points on the spectrum may well have average or above average intelligence and ability. They can also have a very literal way of thinking (i.e., take at face value phrases that are not intended to be taken literally), may have difficulties in interpreting the emotions of others’, have restricted but very deep interests, and in some cases show signs of repetitive behavior.

Note that, for the purposes of recommending reasonable accommodations, we have bracketed together both Asperger’s and Autism. This is appropriate as separate diagnoses are rarely now given, they can exhibit broadly similar traits and making the distinction in the workplace is often unhelpful or unnecessary.

Those completing a profile who experience more significant challenges related to ASD are directed towards the learning disability items where more appropriate reasonable accommodations can be made.

There’s more information on the Wikipedia page on Autism, as well as useful information and sources of support on the Autism Europe website.

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