The UK still recognises several subtypes of autism across a 'spectrum'. Characteristics of the types vary in severity and impact on someone's life. This means that all autistic people are different. Some may not need any support, while others need daily help from a parent or carer.
Compassionate, highly professional and considerable expertise – my condition was fully explained to me and finally I feel I have a clear way forward. Getting an assessment for ASD was the best thing I have ever done.
Other names for autism
You may hear or read about the following terms for autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
This is the medical name for autism. When speaking to healthcare professionals, you will likely hear this term used. It will also appear on documents, such as diagnostic reports and medical communications.
Asperger’s syndrome used to be a common subtype of autism and autism spectrum disorder. However, in 2013 Asperger’s was removed from the DSM-5, the most trusted diagnostic manual. Today, many people who fit the typical profile for Asperger's syndrome are now diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder.
We recognise, understand, and appreciate how problematic the term is. However, many people who received a diagnosis of Asperger's still see it as an important part of their identity and might continue using the term. Other people, meanwhile, may choose to refer to themselves as autistic.
Everyone is different, and we respect individuals' right to choose how they identify. All we can recommend is to take care if you choose to use the phrase, as we will strive to do in all of our communications.