Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), affects more than 1 in 100 people. Some people with ASC prefer to be referred to as “autistic people.” Here, we will use the term ASC.

Children and young people with ASC can have a different way of understanding the world around them. ASC can affect each person differently, and just like everyone else, people with autism will have their own individual strengths and weaknesses.
ASC is not an illness or a disease, which means there is not a “cure”. It is a lifelong developmental condition that affects many areas of a child’s development, but there are strategies which can help reduce some of the difficulties. 

A child or young person with ASC might experience difficulties with some of the following: 

  • Communication
    • Finding it difficult to express themselves
    • Struggling to understand facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice
    • Taking what people say literally
    • Difficulty understanding jokes or sarcasm
  • Social interactions
    • Struggling to relate to others and knowing what to say and do in social situations
    • Difficulty making and maintaining relationships
    • Avoiding eye contact
  • Imagination
    • Struggling to imagine what other people around them are thinking or feeling
    • Difficulty with imaginative play or storytelling

A child or young person with ASC might struggle with sensory sensitivities, changes to routines and transitioning. They may also spend a lot of time and energy focusing on a special interest(s) in which they may become very knowledgeable.