What is autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured‘. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
Autism has its gifts. The unique wiring of the brain often gives people with autism a different outlook on the world,so that they see it in ways other people wouldn’t even consider. And with their unique perspective can also be an incredible memory or unrelenting focus on their passions.
But without the unique point of view that autism creates some of the great breakthroughs in human history may never have happened. Without people to see things a little different our world would simply stay the same.
Famous People with autism
Albert Einstein Hans Christian Andersen
Autism is much more common than most people think. There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK – that’s more than 1 in 100. People from all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can be autistic, although it appears to affect more men than women.
To discover more on the subject visit The National Autistic Society.
Some resources you can borrow from the Learning centre.