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Autism

What is autism?

Open all pages about Autism
Signs of autism
Getting diagnosed
Autism and everyday life
Newly diagnosed: things to help
Where to get support
Easy read information and videos
Other conditions that affect autistic people

Autistic people may act in a different way to other people

Autistic people may:

Information:

If you think you or your child may be autistic, get advice about the signs of autism.

Autism is not an illness

Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.

It's something you're born with or first appears when you're very young.

If you're autistic, you're autistic your whole life.

Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a "cure". But some people need support to help them with certain things.

Autistic people can live a full life

Being autistic does not have to stop you having a good life.

Like everyone, autistic people have things they're good at as well as things they struggle with.

Being autistic does not mean you can never make friends, have relationships or get a job. But you might need extra help with these things.

Autism is different for everyone

Autism is a spectrum. This means everybody with autism is different.

Some autistic people need little or no support. Others may need help from a parent or carer every day.

Some people use other names for autism

There are other names for autism used by some people, such as:

More about Asperger's

Unlike some people with autism, people with Asperger's do not have a learning disability.

Some people call this "high-functioning" autism.

Doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger's anymore.

But if you were diagnosed with it before, this will stay as your diagnosis.

It's not clear what causes autism

Nobody knows what causes autism, or if it has a cause.

It can affect people in the same family. So it may sometimes be passed on to a child by their parents.

Autism is not caused by:

Autistic people can have any level of intelligence

Some autistic people have average or above average intelligence.

Some autistic people have a learning disability. This means they may find it hard to look after themselves and need help with daily life.

Autistic people may have other conditions

Autistic people often have other conditions, like:

Information:

Find out more:

Page last reviewed: 18/04/2019
Next review due: 18/04/2022