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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).

Autism and Asperger’s are spectrum conditions and 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 the National Autistic Society and 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 behaviour.

Note that for the purposes of recommending reasonable adjustments we have bracketed together both Autism and Asperger’s. 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 adjustments can be made.

Click here for more information on Autism and Asperger’s provided by the NHS or visit the website.

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