WHAT IS AUTISM?
Self-Assessment Toolkit for Employers
Autism is a neurological difference where people on the spectrum think, communicate, socially interact, and behave differently to their peers and wider society. Autism is seen as a lifelong developmental disability which impacts in the UK around 1 in 100 people. In the United States the Centre for Disease Control estimates that around 1 in 54 children are on the autistic spectrum. In Australia it is estimated that around 1 in 150 Australians are on the autistic spectrum or 0.7% of the population. Autism is seen as a spectrum condition because although many autistic people share similar characteristics, they are also different from one another. The age old saying goes once you have met one person with autism you have met one person with autism. Officially, autism is an invisible disability but many people with autism do not class themselves as disabled. However, because of the impact autism and other disabilities may have on an individual’s life it could be classed as a disability.