Autism is a developmental condition which affects the function of the brain. It affects the way that someone interacts with and relates to other people, and for autistic people, the world can be a confusing, unpredictable and sometimes scary place.

It is estimated that in the UK autism, in all its forms, affects nearly 1 in 100 people

Autism is called a spectrum condition because it affects people in different ways and to different degrees. Whilst many autistic people can lead independent lives with jobs, relationships, and social lives they may still encounter difficulties which will require additional support. On the other end of the spectrum many will require more intensive support throughout their lives, particularly if their autism is accompanied by an additional learning or mental health difficulty.

Autistic people have told us that they like non-autistic people to explain exactly what they mean, or what they would like them to do as this is easier to process. Some autistic people also like to have routines or timetables so they know what to expect next.

Although it is a lifelong condition for which there is no cure, it has been found that early intervention and individualised specialist support can help autistic people to achieve their full potential.

The key to helping autistic people is to promote awareness of the condition – trying to dispel the myths and stereotypes so that practical solutions be found.

Click here for more information about the signs of autism.