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What is Autism and what are the signs?

An autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder which affects the way a person communicates with and relates to other people and the world around them. The way in which people are affected varies from one individual to another and by age and intellectual functioning.

Children with ASDs are affected in a variety of ways and to very different degrees. This is why it’s called ‘the autistic spectrum’. Autism can affect children with any level of intellectual ability, from those who are profoundly learning disabled, to those with average or high intelligence. So, having ASD doesn’t necessarily mean that you have learning difficulties.

The more seriously affected children at one end of the spectrum have learning difficulties as well and require high levels of support. At the other end of the spectrum, some people with ‘high-functioning autism’ are very intelligent academically. They may go on to be successful in their chosen field. However, they still experience significant social and communication difficulties.

"It's as if your child's brain has been wired up in a different way to usual. This doesn't change, but the ways in which it shows itself, and the extent to which it shows itself, do change." Early Support

"It's nothing to that you've done. A child doesn't become autistic. It's in them already. They don't learn to be autistic." Early Support

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