Donate

Empowering People, Launching lives

What is autism

Lesson
Materials

Autism is lifelong. Autism is not an illness or disease so cannot be cured. Autism is a developmental disability that impacts how people perceive the world, and communicate with others.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) 2013 describes autism as:

Persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction’ and ‘restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests’ (this includes sensory behaviour), present since early childhood, to the extent that these ‘limit and impair everyday functioning’.


Autism is lifelong. Autism is not an illness or disease so cannot be cured. Autism is a developmental disability that impacts how people perceive the world, and communicate with others.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) 2013 describes autism as:

Persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction’ and ‘restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests’ (this includes sensory behaviour), present since early childhood, to the extent that these ‘limit and impair everyday functioning’.

What you need to know

It is not clear what causes autism. Nobody knows what causes autism, and the reasons for it are still being investigated.

‘There is strong evidence to suggest that autism can be caused by a variety of physical factors, all of which affect brain development – it is not due to emotional deprivation or the way a person has been brought up… There is evidence to suggest that genetic factors are responsible for some forms of autism. Scientists have been attempting to identify which genes might be implicated in autism for some years’.

National Autistic Society

 

Please complete all the topics and the quiz below before moving on to the next lesson.

Registered Charity No. 1082599. Registered in England and Wales Ltd by guarantee No. 4041459 Registered Office: Ashurst LLP, London Fruit & Wool Exchange, 1 Duval Square, London, E1 6PW