Autism spectrum disorder, commonly known as ASD, affects how people communicate and interact with others. It affects how they make sense of the world.
Autism is a developmental condition that is typically life-long. People with ASD experience difficulties with communication, social interaction and restricted/repetitive interests and behaviours. These are often accompanied by sensory issues, such an oversensitivity or under-sensitivity to sounds, smells or touch. All of these difficulties may lead to behavioural challenges in some individuals.
The term “spectrum” is used to emphasise that autism presents differently in every single person. People with autism have a wide range of challenges as well as abilities. While there are some shared characteristics, it’s important to remember and respect that autism presents differently in different people. It is often said “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.