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Autism

What is it? 

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person 

  • communicates with people
  • relates to other people.
  • makes sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition. This means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

What to look out for 

Many people with autism will seem out of sorts in social situations. 

What to do 

If a person is autistic, it is important to be aware of what makes life stressful for them. This could be touch, loud noises, lack of routine, etc.

Who can help? 

There are many organisations that can provide you with support for helping people on the autism spectrum.