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What is ASD?

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental condition that affects the way a person communicates, interacts with other people, and makes sense of the world around them.

You may have heard of terms such as Autism and Asperger Syndrome. These terms now all fall under the one term of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Whilst everyone with ASD shares similar areas of difficulties; how it affects their lives will vary from person to person. That is why the word ‘spectrum’ is used.

Some adults with ASD live independent lives whilst others require support on a daily basis. Other people may only need support at particular times throughout their lives.

Some people with ASD also have learning disabilities (also known as intellectual disabilities), mental health concerns or other conditions which can also impact upon their everyday lives and the level of support they require.

Some facts and figures about ASD

*Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (April 2014) Autism Awareness Factsheet

Further information on ASD:

Department of Health Autism Awareness Factsheet

National Autistic Society (NAS) What is ASD? Easy Read version