What is autism?

Autism is a range of conditions classified as neurodevelopmental disorders. This means that the development of the brain and wider nervous system in people living with autism differs from typical neurodevelopment.

How does autism affect people?

Because of this difference in development, the way in which people living with autism think and process information, their cognitive style, differs to that of the majority of people within the typical population.

The majority of people living with autism are in the normal range of intellectual functioning (a typical IQ) but some have an intellectual impairment (a low IQ or learning disability).

People living with autism are vulnerable to mental health problems such as high stress and anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and mood disorders. Experiencing such mental illness can compound the difficulties and challenges arising from living with autism.