Autism is a condition that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
Individuals on the autism spectrum vary enormously from each other but they all share the two 'core' features of autism:
- persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction. For example, they may find it hard to begin or carry on a conversation, they may not understand social rules such as how far to stand from somebody else, or they may find it difficult to make friends.
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities. For example, they may develop an overwhelming interest in something, they may follow inflexible routines or rituals, they may make repetitive body movements, or they may be hypersensitive to certain sounds.