People with autism

People with autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder affecting the way people interact with the world around them. The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism spectrum condition share, relate to social communication, interaction and imagination. Some people with autism spectrum condition can live relatively independently, while others require a lifetime of specialist care.

There is a tendency to think of autism as a condition affecting only children and it can be under-diagnosed in older people, as suggested in research by the National Autistic Society, which was published in ‘getting on? Growing older with autism’ (2013).

Improvements to the diagnostic pathway for adults should take account of the needs of older people, as well as those working age adults. Further research is required to improve understanding on how the condition develops in older age, and the most appropriate forms of support required for older people with autism.

Statistics on this topic on the people with disabilities page.

Key documents