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Autism affects half a million people in the UK. Men are affected more than women.

People with autism have said that the world, to them, is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. It is part of the autism spectrum and is sometimes referred to as an autism spectrum disorder, or an ASD, because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in very different ways. Aspergers syndrome is on this spectrum.

The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are sometimes known as the 'triad of impairments'. They are:

  • difficulty with social communication
  • difficulty with social interaction
  • difficulty with social imagination.

The exact cause of autism is unknown, but research suggests that it is multi-factorial changes in brain development.

Although there is currently no 'cure', there are a range of approaches to cope with the disease. This include conventional medications, as well as dietary and complimentary treatments and behavioral interventions.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence.

Source; Adapted from The National Autistic Society

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