Autistic spectrum disorders
Trouble communicating and relating to others could signal more than just shyness.
What is it?
1 in 100 people have an autistic spectrum disorder (Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism), a condition which affects the way a person communicates and relates to others.
How does it affect people?
There are common traits in autism and Asperger's syndrome, including difficulties with social relationships, communication, imagination and creative play.
What causes autistic spectrum disorders?
This is still being investigated. Some suspect autism may not result from a single cause.
A GP will refer the person to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
What treatment is available?
There is no known cure for autism, but interventions can help younger people. These include communication-based approaches, more traditional behavioural techniques designed to teach basic learning skills, as well as specific diets, supplements and medications.
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