Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental condition that can affect communication, sensory perception, social interactions and behaviour. Autism Spectrum Disorder results from differences in brain development and thought patterns.
Autism has many impacts on those with the condition and their families. For younger children the impacts may affect their ability to engage in play, join in with family outings and complete everyday activities. In older children, there can often be impacts on learning and difficulties with interacting with peers, especially as they enter the teenage years. Adults on the spectrum can often struggle to lead independent lives, make social connections and gain employment. Families can also feel isolated and unsupported as they struggle to support and care for their family member with ASD.
Although there is no doubt that ASD can cause problems, many people with the condition have normal or even above average abilities in some areas. With the right help and an environment that recognises their talents as well as their challenges, people living with ASD can achieve a great deal.
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