What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

ASD describes the abnormal social and communication behaviours, and the unusual and/or repetitive behaviours of a group of children, young people or adults. ASD affects the way an individual relates to people, situations and their immediate environment. ASD is not a learning disability, mental health problem or due to poor parenting. It begins in childhood and lasts throughout adulthood.

The term Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to both Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. The term “spectrum” is used because the symptoms can vary from person to person. The impact of ASD on an individual can vary from mild to severe depending on situation to situation, the stage of a person’s development and in times of transition and change.

Whilst everyone with ASD has difficulties communicating and engaging with others, each individual is different, with a wide range of abilities and needs. Many people with ASD can live independent lives; others need assistance at particular times in their life, whilst others may need support throughout their lives.

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