Autism is not an illness
Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.
It's something you're born with, or first appears when you're very young.
If you're autistic, you're autistic your whole life.
Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a 'cure'. But some people need support to help them with certain things.
People with autism may act in a different way to other people.
Autistic people may:
- find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
- find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
- find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
- get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
- Take longer to understand information
- Do, or think, the same things over and over
If you think you, or your child, may be autistic, you can get more advice about the signs of autism here.
Being autistic does not have to stop you having a good life.
Like everyone, autistic people have things they're good at as well as things they struggle with.
Being autistic does not mean you can never make friends, have relationships or get a job. But you might need extra help with these things.
We want to hear your story
Are you autistic? Do you get the help you need from health and social care services?
We’ve been working for several years now to try and improve the services that support people who have autism, and their families.
We can only do that if you tell us your story.
We can use your story to make change happen.
Get in touch here