Lane, Jackie and Kelly, Rebecca (2012) Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in the Law Student – Making Accommodations in Academic Assessments. In: 47th Annual Conference (Re)assessing Legal Education, 1st April - 3rd April 2012, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, UK.

What is autism?
High-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger syndrome (AS) are autism spectrum
disorders (ASDs) characterised by disturbances in social interaction, both verbal and
non-verbal communication and repetitive and/or restrictive behaviour since early
childhood. As the name suggests, it is a spectrum condition and therefore the range
of symptoms and their severity is very wide; the symptoms which appear (generally
during early childhood and adolescence1) will differ significantly from person to
person. The main difference between autism and AS is thought to be in language
development, in that those with AS will not have had delayed language development
when younger. However, trying to fit a person into a particular sub-group is not
helpful, and all persons with ASD should be assessed for their abilities and
difficulties rather than being overly concerned with whether they have autism or AS.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates
with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world
around them. For reasons not yet fully understood, ASD affects approximately four
times as many males as females.2

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