Autism spectrum disorder

Behavioural disorders in children. HCA UK's experts can help to diagnose and treat a range of behavioural disorders in children.

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About behavioural disorders in children

The two most common types of ASD include autistic disorder (also known as classic autism or autism) and Asperger syndrome, where your child may have above average intelligence.

Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often present from the ages of one to three. ASD is more common in boys than girls, and over one in every 100 people in the UK suffers from the condition overall.

At HCA UK, our team of experts specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of behavioural conditions in children including autism spectrum disorder, which affects their social skills, interests and communication.

Types of autism spectrum disorder


Autism is a lifelong development disorder that affects the way your child experiences the world, and could be associated with learning disabilities.

Asperger syndrome

Asperger syndrome (Asperger’s) is a form of autism that affects social interactions, causing a limited range of interests and repetitive behaviours.

Need to know

Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder include:

  • Lack of vocal sounds in infancy and delayed language development
  • Problems with non-verbal communication, including eye contact
  • Lack of awareness and interest in others
  • Difficulty in understanding the emotions of others

Your GP or consultant will discuss your child’s autism spectrum disorder symptoms with you. In order to diagnose the type of autism that they have, they may:

  • Refer your child for an autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS) test where their communication, social interactions and play will be assessed
  • Ask about any existing medical conditions your child has
  • Assess information provided by your child’s nursery or school in relation to their development and behaviour
  • Give your child a physical examination to check for underlying conditions such as Down’s syndrome

Although there is no cure, your GP or consultant may recommend working with a team of specialists such as paediatric psychologists and psychiatrists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists in order to:

  • Help improve your child’s communication skills
  • Help them understand the emotions of others
  • Encourage pretend play

They may also refer your child for psychosocial treatments to address any triggers for their behaviour. They will also continue to offer support to you and your child as they grow and develop.

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.