- Autism is a lifelong condition affecting social communication.
- It can involve a strong need for routine and predictability.
- Most autistic people have sensory processing difficulties, for example coping with flickering fluorescent lighting, strong smells or background noise.
- Understanding facial expressions and body language is more difficult, and eye contact can be painful to endure.
- Autism often also has strengths, including accuracy, honesty and dedication.
- Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means that its impact ranges from moderate to severe. It affects people with and without learning difficulties. People with autism do not look disabled.
- Autistic social communication is often misunderstood, and many experience anger from others, with loneliness and anxiety as a result.
Between 8,500 and 20,000 people living in Berkshire are directly affected by autism.