Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a social communication disorder which can be diagnosed by a Community Paediatrician after a period of investigation. Autism is a complex condition which can vary greatly in presentation from child to child. Autism can be diagnosed in children with a wide range of cognitive abilities. A referral can be made to the Community Paediatric Department by the GP or school. Before a referral will be accepted, the Department will need evidence that parents have undertaken a parenting course and have received the support of a Family Worker. This is necessary to rule out any other underlying causes for presenting issues.
The NHS have a very helpful page which defines Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/what-is-autism/