People on the autism spectrum experience persistent difficulties with social interaction and communication, display restricted and repetitive behaviour and/or have special circumscribed interests and activities. They often also experience sensory difficulties, such as increased or reduced sensitivity to light, sound, colour, smell, taste or touch.
Autism affects around 1 in 100 people
Autism is a lifelong disability. Symptoms are usually apparent from early childhood. Autism can be diagnosed by appropriately qualified professionals according to international criteria for diagnosis.
Autism is a ‘spectrum’ condition. This means that the symptoms vary between individuals. People with autism include those who have significant intellectual disabilities and require a high level of support in their daily lives, as well as those who are of average to high intelligence and require a lower level of support.
Further information can be found in the video below and on the website of Autism Europe, one of our project partners.
Autism co-existing with other neurodevelopmental conditions
Current estimates suggest that 40% of people with autism have mild and 15% severe ID. Autism and ADHD co-occur substantially, with a 20%-50% prevalence of ADHD in those with autism, and 30-80% of children with autism meeting criteria for ADHD.