Select your location for up-to-date news and information in your local area My Area

What is Autism?

Autism affects how a person’s brain works.

It’s not a disease, or an illness and you can’t catch it. It’s something that you are born with and affects how you communicate and act with other people.

Autism can be diagnosed at any age, sometimes during childhood and sometimes as an adult. Autism can affect people of any gender or ethnicity.

Autism is sometimes called Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC); both names are used to describe Autism.

Every Autistic person is different and unique in their own way, which is why Autism is called a spectrum disorder. Each person has different strengths and weaknesses; some might need lots of help and support, others might not need any.

An Autistic person may experience some of the following:

  • Difficulty understanding other people, the way they think/feel
  • Taking longer than others to understand things
  • Finding it hard to listen and concentrate
  • Finding it hard to talk and interact with others
  • Finding it harder to make friends and socialize
  • Struggling to say and express how they feel
  • Getting anxious or upset when things change, and are not part of their normal routine
  • Preferring to do the same things over and over again
  • Feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by bright lights, loud noises or crowds

Simply put, Autistic people see the world differently to others around them.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively, you can always contact your school nurse.

Cross Hatch

Find help in your local area

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

Find help in your local area