Describe the following social and communication disorders

Assessment Criteria

To meet the assessment criteria for this unit, learners need to describe the characteristics of autistic spectrum conditions, Asperger syndrome, and high-functioning autism. They should understand how these conditions manifest and how they differ from one another, while also recognising the challenges in social interaction and communication that individuals with these conditions might face.

What do I need to answer?

Learners must answer the following:

  • What characterises an autistic spectrum condition (ASC)?
  • How does Asperger syndrome fit into the autism spectrum, and what are its unique features?
  • What is meant by high-functioning autism (HFA), and how does it compare to other conditions within the spectrum?

Examples of answers to the assessment criteria

Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC): ASC refers to a range of developmental disorders that involve varying degrees of social interaction difficulties, communication challenges, and a tendency toward repetitive behaviours or interests. Each individual on the spectrum can have a unique set of strengths and challenges.

Asperger Syndrome: This condition is part of the autism spectrum and is typically characterised by significant challenges in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests. Unlike other forms of autism, individuals with Asperger syndrome often have intact language and intellectual ability.

High-Functioning Autism (HFA): HFA is not an official medical diagnosis but is commonly used to describe individuals on the autism spectrum who have average or above-average intelligence. These individuals face similar social interaction and communication challenges as others with autism but do not have intellectual disabilities.


This unit within the NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Autism covers the understanding of autism and related conditions. Learners will explore the characteristics and distinctions between autistic spectrum conditions, Asperger syndrome, and high-functioning autism. Recognising these differences is crucial for providing appropriate support to individuals with these conditions.