Autism spectrum disorder
Autism is a developmental disability. It's sometimes called an autism spectrum disorder, or an ASD. The word 'spectrum' is used because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some are able to live relatively independently while others will need a lifetime of specialist care and support.
The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are with:
- social communication
- social interaction
- social imagination
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with asperger’s syndrome have fewer problems with speech. They don't usually have the learning disabilities associated with autism, but they may have specific learning difficulties.
The Autism alert card has been developed, in consultation with adults who have autism and parents, and is designed to tell people about the condition. The card helps address the unique challenges faced by people with autism who are victims of crime and accidents. The Autism alert card helps make sure those with the condition are quickly identified by police and emergency services.
The Autism alert card can also be used in a day to day context, helping ease communication and understanding challenges. For example, when someone with autism is going to the dentist, doctor or accessing Accident and Emergency or even going shopping, at a social event, using leisure facilities or public transport.
If you'd like to apply for an Autism alert card, please contact your nearest National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland office.