What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the term introduced by Dr Lorna Wing to describe the range of presentation of autism from classic autism described by Kanner to Asperger syndrome.


Wing further described ASD as being characterised by a Triad of Impairment, descriptions of which and a host of associated information can be found on the internet.

Due to the different focus and philosophy that we have as an organisation we prefer to use the term autism spectrum condition as opposed to autism spectrum disorder. We feel that this fits with our core values, and although we are aware that there is much current debate on this subject, we agree with the reasoning of Simon Baron- Cohen et al (2009),

‘we favour the use of the term autism-spectrum condition rather than autism-spectrum disorder as it is less stigmatising, and it reflects that these individuals have not only disabilities that require a medical diagnosis, but also areas of cognitive strength’.


Baron-Cohen, S. et al., (2009). Prevalence of autism-spectrum conditions: UK school-based population study, The British Journal of Psychiatry. [online], 194, 500-509. Available from: www.autismresearchcenter.com

Further information

For further information on autism please read what is autism.