What is Autism?

Autism and Asperger’s

Autism is a development disorder affecting social, communication and imagination skills.  Children with autism share a common difficulty in making sense of the world.  The degree to which people with autism are affected varies, but the following are common characteristics:

  • Difficulty with social relationships
  • Difficulty with verbal communication
  • Difficulty with non-verbal communication
  • Difficulty in the development of play and imagination
  • Resistance to change in routine


Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, a disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others.

A number of the traits of autism are common to Asperger syndrome including:

  • Difficulty in communicating
  • Difficulty social relationships
  • A lack of imagination and creative play

However, people with Asperger syndrome usually have fewer problems with language than those with autism, often speaking fluently though their words can sometimes sound formal or stilted.

People with Asperger syndrome also do not have the accompanying learning disabilities often associated with autism; in fact, people with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence.

The key characteristics of Asperger syndrome are:

  • Difficulty with social relationships
  • Difficulty with communication
  • Lack of imagination
  • Special interests
  • Love of routines