Facts and statistics about autism, including how many autistic people are in the UK, how many people have learning disabilities and autism, a breakdown by gender, an overview of studies into statistics of autism, and some common myths and facts about the condition.
How does autism affect children, adults and their families?
The term 'autism' is used here to describe all diagnoses on the autism spectrum including classic autism, Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.
- Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition. Without the right support, it can have a profound - sometimes devastating - effect on individuals and families.
- Autism is much more common than many people think. There are around 700,000 people in the UK living with autism - that's more than 1 in 1001. If you include their families, autism touches the lives of 2.8 million people every day.
- Autism doesn't just affect children. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults.
- Autism is a hidden disability - you can't always tell if someone has it.
- While autism is incurable, the right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to people's lives.
- 34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on2.
- 63% of children on the autism spectrum are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them3.
- 17% of autistic children have been suspended from school; 48% of these had been suspended three or more times; 4% had been expelled from one or more schools4.
- Seventy per cent of autistic adults say that they are not getting the help they need from social services. Seventy per cent of autistic adults also told us that with more support they would feel less isolated5.
- At least one in three autistic adults are experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support6.
- Only 15% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment7.
- Only 10% of autistic adults receive employment support but 53% say they want it8.
1 The NHS Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team, Brugha, T. et al (2012). Estimating the prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in adults: extending the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Leeds: NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care
2 Reid, B. (2011). Great Expectations. London: The National Autistic Society, p7
3 Reid, B. (2011). Great Expectations. London: The National Autistic Society, p18
4 Reid, B. (2011). Great Expectations. London: The National Autistic Society, p8
5 Bancroft et al (2012). The Way We Are: Autism in 2012. London: The National Autistic Society
6 Rosenblatt, M (2008). I Exist: the message from adults with autism in England. London: The National Autistic Society, p3
7 Redman, S et al (2009). Don't Write Me Off: Make the system fair for people with autism. London: The National Autistic Society, p8
8 Bancroft et al (2012). The Way We Are: Autism in 2012. London: The National Autistic Society
How many people in the UK are autistic?
Around 700,000 people may be autistic, or more than 1 in 100 in the population.
There is no register or exact count kept. Any information about the possible number of people with autism in the community must be based on epidemiological surveys (ie studies of distinct and identifiable populations).
The latest prevalence studies of autism indicate that 1.1% of the population in the UK may have autism. This means that over 695,000 people in the UK may have autism, an estimate derived from the 1.1% prevalence rate applied to the 2011 UK census figures.
The prevalence rate is based on two relatively recent studies, one of children and the other of adults. The prevalence study of children, (Baird G. et al., 2006) looked at a population in the South Thames area. The study of adults was published in two parts, Brugha et al (2009), and The NHS Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team, Brugha et al (2012). This is the only known prevalence study to have been done of an adult population.
Autism and learning disabilities
What proportion of people with autism have a learning disability?
Between 44% - 52% of autistic people may have a learning disability.
Between 48% - 56% of autistic people do not have a learning disability.
Research findings on the proportion of people with autism spectrum disorders who also have learning disabilities (IQ less than 70) vary considerably as they are affected by the method of case finding and the sample size.
Fombonne et al (2011), in their research review of 14 prevalence studies that mentioned IQ, found a range of 30% to 85.3%, with a mean of 56.1%, of people without learning disabilities, p. 99.
Emerson and Baines (2010) in their meta-analysis of prevalence studies found a range of people with learning disabilities and autism from 15% to 84%, with a mean of 52.6%.
Explanation of why these findings are so variable and the reliability of the figures can be found in both Emerson and Baines (2010) and in Fombonne et al (2011).
What proportion of people with a learning disability are autistic?
Around a third of people with a learning disability may also be autistic.
Around a third of people who have learning disabilities (IQ less than 70) are also autistic, according to research published by Emerson and Baines in 2010. The adult prevalence study, The NHS Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team, Brugha et al.(2012), found between 31% and 35.4% of people with a learning disability are autistic.
Autism and gender
How many males compared to females are diagnosed with autism?
Five times as many males as females are diagnosed with autism.
The proportion of males as opposed to females diagnosed with autism varies across studies, but always shows a greater proportion of males. Fombonne at al (2011) found a mean of 5.5 males to 1 female in their research review.
Baird et al (2006) found a male to female ratio of 3.3:1 for the whole spectrum in their sample. The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey looked at people in private households, and found a prevalence rate of 1.8% male compared with 0.2% female, (Brugha et al, 2009). However, when they extended the study to include those people with learning disabilities who had been unable to take part in the APMS in 2007 and those in communal residential settings, they found that the rates for females were much closer to those of the males in the learning disabled population, (The NHS Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team, Brugha et al, 2012).
Note that autism spectrum disorders are under-diagnosed in females, and therefore the male to female ratio of those who are on the autism spectrum may be closer than is indicated by the figure of 5:1. The under recognition of autism spectrum disorders in females is discussed in Gould and Ashton-Smith (2011).
Read more about gender and autism.
An historical outline of epidemiological studies of autism
It is more than 50 years since Leo Kanner first described his classic autistic syndrome. Since then, the results of research and clinical work have led to the broadening of the concept of autistic disorders. In consequence, estimates of prevalence have increased considerably. This process has occurred in stages, the start of each of which can be linked to particular studies. The history is summarised and the most up-to-date figures are given below and in the table overleaf.
The specific pattern of abnormal behaviour first described by Leo Kanner is also known as 'early infantile autism'. Kanner made no estimate of the possible numbers of people with this condition but he thought that it was rare (Kanner, 1943).
Over 20 years later, Victor Lotter published the first results of an epidemiological study of children with the behaviour pattern described by Kanner in the former county of Middlesex, which gave an overall prevalence rate of 4.5 per 10,000 children (Lotter, 1966).
The triad of impairments in children with learning disabilities
In 1979 Lorna Wing and Judith Gould examined the prevalence of autism, as defined by Leo Kanner, among children known to have special needs in the former London Borough of Camberwell.
They found a prevalence in those with IQ under 70 of nearly 5 per 10,000 for this syndrome, closely similar to the rate found by Lotter. However, as well as looking at children with Kanner autism, Wing and Gould also identified a larger group of children (about 15 per 10,000) who had impairments of social interaction, communication and imagination (which they referred to as the 'triad' of impairments), together with a repetitive stereotyped pattern of activities.
Although these children did not fit into the full picture of early childhood autism (or typical autism) as described by Kanner, they were identified as being within the broader 'autism spectrum'. Thus, the total prevalence rate for the spectrum in all children with special needs in the Camberwell study was found to be approximately 20 in every 10,000 children (Wing and Gould, 1979). Gillberg et al (1986) in Gothenburg, Sweden, found very similar rates in children with learning disabilities
There have been a number of other epidemiological studies in different countries examining the prevalence of autism (but not the whole spectrum). These results range from 3.3 to 60.0 per 10,000, possibly due to differences in definitions or case-finding methods (Wing and Potter, 2002).
The studies described above identified autistic disorders in children, the great majority of whom had learning disabilities and special educational needs. However, in 1944, Hans Asperger in Vienna had published an account of children with many similarities to Kanner autism but who had abilities, including grammatical language, in the average or superior range. There are continuing arguments concerning the exact relationship between Asperger and Kanner syndromes but it is beyond dispute that they have in common the triad of impairments of social interaction, communication and imagination and a narrow, repetitive pattern of activities (Wing, 1981; 1991).
In 1993, Stephan Ehlers and Christopher Gillberg published the results of a further study carried out in Gothenburg in which they examined children in mainstream schools in order to find the prevalence of Asperger syndrome and other autistic spectrum disorders in children with IQ of 70 or above. From the numbers of children they identified they calculated a rate of 36 per 10,000 for those who definitely had Asperger syndrome and another 35 per 10,000 for those with social impairments. Some of the latter may have fitted Asperger description if more information had been available, but they certainly had disorders within the autistic spectrum. The children who were identified were known by their teachers to be having social and/or educational problems but the nature of their difficulties had not been recognised prior to the study.
For over 30 years, Sula Wolff, in Edinburgh, has studied children of average or high ability who are impaired in their social interaction but who do not have the full picture of the triad of impairments. In her book giving results of her studies (Wolff, 1995), she emphasises that the clinical picture overlaps with Asperger syndrome to a large extent. However, these children represent the most subtle and most able end of the autism spectrum. The majority become independent as adults, many marry and some display exceptional gifts, though retaining the unusual quality of their social interactions.
Why include them in the autism spectrum? As Sula Wolff points out, they often have a difficult time at school and they need recognition, understanding and acceptance from their parents and teachers. The approach that suits them best is the same as that which is recommended for children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.
In her discussion of prevalence, Sula Wolff quotes Ehlers and Gillberg's study. She considers that their total figure of 71 per 10,000, includes the children she describes.
Autism spectrum disorders
A survey by the Office of National Statistics of the mental health of children and young people in Great Britain found a prevalence rate of 0.9% for autism spectrum disorders or 90 in 10,000 (Green et al, 2005). These were not differentiated into autism, Asperger syndrome or any type of autism spectrum disorder.
Gillian Baird and her colleagues published a report of a prevalence study which surveyed a population of children aged 9-10 years in the South Thames region. All children who either already had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or were known to child health or speech and language services as having social and communication difficulties were selected for screening. Children considered to be at risk of being an undetected case because they had a statement of special educational needs were also selected. Diagnoses were based on ICD-10 criteria. The results showed a prevalence rate of 38.9 in 10,000 for childhood autism, and 77.2 in 10,000 for other autism spectrum disorders, giving an overall figure of 116 in 10,000 for all autism spectrum disorders (Baird et al, 2006).
In this study very few children were identified with Asperger syndrome. The authors acknowledged that some children in mainstream schools who did not have a statement of special educational would have been missed, because of the selection criteria. The authors note that the prevalence estimate found should be regarded as a minimum figure (Baird et al. 2006).
There may be another reason why Asperger syndrome was rarely found in the study. ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for Asperger syndrome are such that a person who would be diagnosed with Asperger syndrome using the criteria used by Gillberg, would probably receive a diagnosis of childhood autism or atypical autism using the ICD-10 criteria.
Prevalence in adults
The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey is the primary data source for monitoring trends in England’s mental health. In 2007 it included for the first time a measure of autism spectrum disorder and found 1% of the population studied had an ASD, (Brugha, T. et al , 2009).
The Department of Health then funded a project to build on the APMS study and look more closely at the numbers of autistic adults that could not have been included in the original study. This included people in residential care settings and those with a more severe learning disability. The study was led by Professor Terry Brugha of the University of Leicester, who also led on autism research for the APMS 2007. Combining its findings with the original APMS, it found that the actual prevalence of autism is approximately 1.1% of the English population, (The NHS Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team, Brugha, T. et al, 2012).
Recent studies from other countries
The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network in the USA looked at 8 year old children in 14 states in 2008, and found a prevalence rate of autism spectrum disorders within those states overall of 1 in 88, with around five times as many boys as girls diagnosed (Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network Surveillance Year 2008 Principal Investigators, 2012).
The National Center for Health Statistics in the USA published findings from telephone surveys of parents of children aged 6-17 undertaken in 2011-12. The report showed a prevalence rate for ASD of 1 in 50, (Blumberg, S .J. et al, 2013).
A study of a 0-17 year olds resident in Stockholm between 2001-2007 found a prevalence rate of 11.5 in 1,000, very similar to the rate found other prevalence studies in Western Europe, (Idring et al , 2012).
A much higher prevalence rate of 2.64% was found in a study done in South Korea, where the researchers found two thirds of the ASD cases were in the mainstream school population, and had never been diagnosed before. (Kim et al, 2011).
Researchers comparing findings of prevalence studies from different parts of the world over the past few years have come up with a more conservative median estimate of prevalence of 62 in 10,000. They conclude that the both the increase in estimates over time and the variability between countries and regions are likely to be because of broadening diagnostic criteria, diagnostic switching, service availability and awareness of ASD among professionals and the public, (Elsabbagh M. et al, 2012).
Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network Surveillance Year 2008 Principal Investigators (2012) Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders - autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 14 sites, United States, 2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance summaries, 61(3), pp. 1-19.
Available to download at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6103a1.htm [Accessed 15/05/2013]
Baird, G. et al. (2006) Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of
children in South Thames: the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP). The Lancet, 368 (9531), pp. 210-215.
Blumberg, S. J. et al (2013) Changes in prevalence of parent-reported autism spectrum disorder in school-aged U.S. children: 2007 to 2011–2012. National Health Statistics Reports, No 65.
Available to download at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr065.pdf [Accessed 15/05/2013]
Brugha, T. et al (2009) Autism spectrum disorders in adults living in households throughout England: report from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 2007. Leeds: NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care.
Available to download at http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB01131 [Accessed 10/05/2013]
Ehlers, S. & Gillberg, C. (1993). The epidemiology of Asperger syndrome: a total population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34(8), pp. 1327-1350.
Emerson, E. and Baines, S. (2010) The estimated prevalence of autism among adults with learning disabilities in England. Stockton-on-Tees: Improving Health and Lives.
Available to download at http://www.improvinghealthandlives.org.uk/projects/autism [Accessed 10/05/2013]
Elsabbagh, M. et al (2012) Global prevalence of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders.
Autism Research, 5 (3), pp.160-179.
Available to download at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aur.239/pdf [Accessed 15/05/2013]
Fombonne, E., Quirke, S. and Hagen, A. (2011). Epidemiology of pervasive developmental disorders. In Amaral D.G., Dawson G. and Geschwind D.H. eds. (2011) Autism spectrum disorders. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 90 – 111.
Available from the NAS Information Centre.
Gillberg, C., Grufman, M., Persson, E. & Themner, U. (1986). Psychiatric disorders in mildly and severely mentally retarded urban children and adolescents: epidemiological aspects. British Journal of Psychiatry, 149, pp. 68-74.
Gould, J. and Ashton-Smith, J. (2011) Missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis? Girls and women on the autism spectrum. Good Autism Practice, 12 (1), pp. 34-41.
Available from the NAS Information Centre.
Green, H. et al (2005) Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain, 2004. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Available to download at http://www.esds.ac.uk/doc/5269/mrdoc/pdf/5269technicalreport.pdf [Accessed 10/05/2013]
Idring, S. et al. (2012) Autism spectrum disorders in the Stockholm Youth Cohort: design, prevalence and validity. PLoS One, 7(7): e41280
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Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, pp. 217-250.
Kim, Y.S. et al (2011) Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in a total population sample. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168 (9), pp. 904-12.
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Lotter, V. (1966). Epidemiology of autistic conditions in young children, I. Prevalence. Social Psychiatry, 1, pp. 124-137.
The NHS Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team, Brugha, T. et al. (2012) Estimating the prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in adults: extending the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. Leeds: NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care.
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Wing, L. & Gould, J. (1979). Severe impairments of social interaction and associated abnormalities in children: epidemiology and classification. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 9, pp. 11-29.
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Wing, L. & Potter, D. (2002). The epidemiology of autistic spectrum disorders: is the prevalence rising? Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 8(3), pp. 151-161.
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Quick link to this page: www.autism.org.uk/007874
Last updated May 2013
Myths and facts about autism
Although over 700,000 people in the UK are autistic (more than 1 in 100 people), false and often negative perceptions about the condition are commonplace.
This lack of understanding can make it difficult for people on the autism spectrum to have their condition recognised and to access the support they need. Misconceptions can lead to some autistic people feeling isolated and alone. In extreme cases, it can also lead to abuse and bullying.
On 1 November 2012, we launched a social media campaign to dispel common myths surrounding autism and Asperger syndrome, and to raise general awareness of the condition and of The National Autistic Society. A myth about autism was tweeted, closely followed by a corresponding fact, on each day in the run up to World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April 2013.
You can read more about the campaign and see all the myths and facts posted below:
#AutismFact: The idea of an autism spectrum was first introduced by Lorna Wing and Judith Gould in 1979
#AutismFact: Some people with autism may develop fascinations or special interests
#AutismMyth: All people with autism are good at maths, art and music #worldmathsday
#AutismFact: People w/ autism will often learn a lot about a topic they're fascinated with & be perceived as experts
#AutismFact: Fascinations, repetitive behaviour & routines can be a source of enjoyment for people autism
#AutismFact: Special interests may provide structure & predictability to people w/ autism, helping them cope with uncertainties of daily life
#AutismFact: People w/ autism who find social interaction difficult may use their special interests to start conversations & feel relaxed
#AutismFact: Mothers across the world dedicate their lives to supporting and caring for loved ones with autism #Mothersday
#AutismFact: Special interests of people with autism can improve self-esteem, encourage socialising & develop skills
#AutismFact: The Autism Helpline provides confidential info, advice & support for people w/ autism, families & carers
#AutismFact: The Society for Autistic Children was renamed The National Autistic Society in 1982
#AutismMyth: After being supported through school, people with autism instantly adapt to adult life
#AutismFact: Many young people with autism find it difficult to imagine life beyond school & what being in a workplace will involve
#AutismFact: Big changes, such as transition from children's to adult services, can be traumatic for people w/ autism
#AutismMyth: People with autism no longer require support once they leave school
#AutismFact: Planning & support are vital to ensure transition is as smooth as possible for people with autism
#AutismFact: Difficulties with transition can lead to social isolation, mental health problems & continued dependence on parents
#AutismFact: Parents of young people with autism have described transition to adulthood like falling off a cliff-edge
#AutismFact: 66% of people with autism in Scotland feel they do not have enough support, according to a 2013 survey
#AutismFact: In 1944 Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger first described the condition later known as Asperger syndrome
#AutismFact: 79% of people with autism in Scotland believe public understanding of the condition is poor or very poor
#AutismFact: The first question about autism in @UKParliament was asked by William Compton Carr in 1962 www.bit.ly/VFRcuF
#AutismMyth: All people with autism are geniuses or have a extraordinary ability like the Dustin Hoffman character in the film Rainman
#AutismFact: Current thinking holds that at most 1 or 2 in 200 individuals with autism may have an extraordinary talent
#AutismFact: People with autism who have an extraordinary talent are referred to as 'autistic savants'
#AutismFact: The Autism Helpline was launched in 1997 to answer calls and enquiries for people with the condition
#AutismFact: 78% of young people with autism think people outside their family don’t know enough about the condition
#AutismFact: Leo Kanner first described autism as a distinct condition in 1943 http://bit.ly/WM5hqS
#AutismMyth: All people with autism can’t start & sustain friendships or relationships #ValentinesDay
#AutismFact: Autism affects a person's ability to communicate & can make forming relationships difficult http://bit.ly/UUn65Z #ValentinesDay
#AutismFact: Some people with autism have successful and happy relationships and marriages http://bit.ly/UUn65Z #ValentinesDay
#AutismFact: 22% of young people with autism responding to a 2012 survey said they had no friends at all
#AutismMyth: All adults with autism prefer their own company and don’t want any friends
#AutismFact: 65% of people with autism surveyed in 2012 said they would like more friends
#AutismFact: The NAS run befriending schemes, pairing people with autism with volunteers to socialise together
#AutismFact: Befriending schemes can help people with autism develop self-confidence & improve understanding of others http://bit.ly/UnHB0J
#AutismFact: Many parents of children with PDA feel they’ve been wrongly accused of poor parenting
#AutismFact: People with PDA will avoid demands made by others due to high anxiety levels when they feel they are not in control
#AutismMyth: People with autism don’t feel emotions
#AutismFact: Many people with autism feel emotions intensely & can be overwhelmed by the emotions of those around them
#AutismFact: Autism is a hidden condition; a diagnosis does not involve a physical examination
#AutismFact: People that don't agree with an autism diagnosis can seek a second opinion
#AutismFact: The term 'autism' was coined by Eugen Bleuler in 1911 to describe what he perceived as social withdrawal
#AutismFact: Most adults with autism are diagnosed by a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist
#AutismFact: The EarlyBird programme supports parents to better understand autism & how the condition affects their child
#AutismFact: 34% of people with autism said they waited three years or more for a diagnosis, according to a 2012 survey
#AutismFact: 55% of people seeking an autism diagnosis said the process took too long, according to a 2012 survey
#AutismMyth: You can only be diagnosed with autism as a child
#AutismFact: Autism affects adults as well as children. People with the condition can be diagnosed at any age
#AutismFact: Pathological demand avoidance syndrome (PDA) is being researched for its similarities with autism & (>>1/2)
(>>2/2) #AutismFact: more research is needed to clarify the differences and similarities between autism and PDA
#AutismFact: The Lorna Wing Centre was the first UK service to provide diagnostic, assessment & advice for people with autism
#AutismFact: The Lorna Wing Centre now gives diagnostic training to professionals in the UK & diagnoses complex cases
#AutismMyth: All people with autism require constant care
#AutismFact: Autism is a spectrum condition - (>>1/2)
(>>2/2) #AutismFact: While many people with autism face similar challenges, it can affect them differently & require different support needs
#AutismFact: A diagnosis can help people with autism explain why they feel ‘different’ or help a parent understand their child better
#AutismFact: Diagnosis can offer a gateway to identifying and accessing appropriate support and services http://bit.ly/U17aSr
#AutismFact: Some people live with autism for their entire lives without ever getting a formal diagnosis http://bit.ly/U17aSr
#AutismMyth: Autism only affects males
#AutismFact: Autism affects males and females, though statistics indicate that more males are affected
#AutismFact: NAS research from 2012 indicates that it may be harder for females than males to get a diagnosis for autism
#AutismFact: The process of diagnosing autism can vary depending on location and the diagnosticians/diagnostic services but (>>1/2)
(>>2/2) #AutismFact: Autism diagnoses in the UK should now follow guidelines issued by NICE
#AutismFact: According to a 2012 survey, 27% of children with autism have been excluded from school (>>1/2)
(>>2/2) #AutismFact: compared with 4% of children without autism who have been excluded from school
#AutismFact: School exclusions of children and young people with autism are generally avoidable with the right support
#AutismFact: The Education Rights Service offers info & support to help guide parents through the education system www.bit.ly/ZkcVhF
#AutismFact: 63% of young people with autism have been bullied at school, according to a 2012 survey
#AutismFact: Information, advice & support about bullying are available to parents, teachers & people with autism
#AutismFact: 75% of people with autism at secondary school age have experienced bullying, according to a 2012 survey
#AutismFact: Education Support Service offers advice & support to professionals working with young people with autism http://bit.ly/X5VIV6
#AutismFact: Before the 1960s people w/ autism were generally considered uneducable & excluded from the education system
#AutismMyth: All children with autism go to special educational needs schools
#AutismFact: Most children with autism go to mainstream school while others require support at special schools
#AutismFact: NAS Schools offer balanced & relevant curricula, incorporating the National Curriculum where appropriate
#AutismMyth: Stimming (repetitive behaviour like flapping or rocking) is undesirable and should be stopped
#AutismFact: Repetitive behaviour like flapping or rocking can help some people with autism deal with chaotic environments or stress
#AutismFact: Stimming can be a healthy method of personal expression & sometimes communication for people with autism
#AutismFact: There are an estimated 106,000 school-aged children with autism in the UK
#AutismFact: The Autism Education Trust helps education providers plan & develop autism education strategies
#AutismFact: Autism is a ‘hidden’ condition – you can’t always tell if someone has it
#AutismFact: Jane Asher is the President of the NAS
#AutismFact: The NAS has 16 Vice Presidents incl the Speaker John Bercow MP, Sally Bercow & Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
#AutismMyth: A child with autism will grow out of the condition
#AutismFact: The right support at the right time can enhance a child with autism’s opportunities www.bit.ly/SvjElE
#AutismMyth: A person with autism cannot be educated
#AutismFact: With the right structured support both in and out of school, people with autism can reach their full potential http://bit.ly/UMffLD
#AutismFact: The NAS runs 7 autism-specialist schools around the UK (ages 4-25), with another set to open this year
#AutismFact: Over 500 children & young people are supported by NAS Schools, which provide them with tailored education
#AutismMyth: All people with autism experience #Christmas in the same way as 'neurotypical' people
#AutismFact: #Christmas is an exciting time but changes can be confusing/distressing for people with autism
AutismFact: People with autism’s dependence on routines can increase during times of change, stress or illness http://bit.ly/VSs8iW
#AutismMyth: Only children have autism
#AutismFact: Autism is a lifelong developmental condition - children with autism become adults with autism
#AutismFact: Autism is not a degenerative condition http://bit.ly/UUn65Z
#AutismFact: People with autism are most likely to fulfil their potential with specialised support & a knowledgeable, understanding public
#AutismFact: The NAS was set up in 1962 by friends from North London seeking more understanding & help for children with autism & their families
#AutismFact: The NAS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012
#AutismFact: #Christmas #presents for children with autism could include sensory toys, board games or music
#AutismFact: Routines can provide structure & predictability to people with autism, helping them manage anxiety http://bit.ly/VSs8iW
#AutismFact: The need for routine in some people with autism can make new environments/people difficult to deal with http://bit.ly/VSs8iW
#AutismFact: There's various ways families & friends of people with autism can help them cope with changes at #Xmas:
#AutismFact: Ensuring a child with autism knows what to expect at #Xmas may help them cope with changes to their routine
#AutismFact: Using daily timetables can help people with autism know what to expect & when http://bit.ly/VSs8iW
#AutismFact: Children with autism can find abstract concepts, like Father #Christmas challenging (a stranger coming down your chimney)
#AutismFact: Many people with autism have difficulty interpreting non-literal sayings or phrases
#AutismFact: Many people with autism find it difficult to understand facial expressions, tone of voice, jokes and sarcasm http://bit.ly/QS7Wgu
#AutismFact Many people with autism find it easier to understand others if they're spoken to in a clear, consistent way http://www.bit.ly/QS7Wgu
#AutismFact: Many people with autism find it useful when people give them time to process what has been said to them http://bit.ly/QS7Wgu
#AutismFact: Visual supports should be appropriate to the person with autism and in line with their stage of development http://www.bit.ly/UNGDqb
#AutismMyth: All children with autism love #Christmas
#AutismFact: Seemingly small changes such as birthdays or #Christmas can disrupt the routine of someone with autism, increasing anxiety
#AutismFact: Some #Christmas presents can be unsuitable for children with #autism
#AutismFact: Some people with autism may not speak, or have fairly limited speech http://bit.ly/QS7Wgu
#AutismMyth: Non-verbal people with autism are severely mentally impaired
#AutismFact: Some people with autism may have an associated learning difficulty while others can have average/above average intelligence
#AutismFact: Non-verbal people with autism can often understand what other people say to them http://bit.ly/QS7Wgu
#AutismFact: Non-verbal people with autism prefer other means of communication - eg sign language or visual symbols
#AutismFact: Visual supports may help people with autism in many ways, including during times of change/new routines
#AutismFact: Visual supports can include objects, photos and line drawings
#AutismFact: Many people with autism have a very literal understanding of language #PlainEnglishDay
#AutismMyth: Asperger syndrome is a middle class condition made up by parents to excuse the bad behaviour of their children
#AutismFact: Asperger syndrome is a real and disabling condition that has its own set of diagnostic criteria http://bit.ly/Sdnexq
#AutismFact: Asperger syndrome is a lifelong disability affecting how a person makes sense of the world as well as how they process information & relate to other people http://bit.ly/Sdnexq
#AutismFact: People with Asperger syndrome may have difficulty understanding and processing language http://bit.ly/Sdnexq
#AutismMyth: All people with autism spectrum disorders have a low IQ
#AutismFact: Not all people with autism have a learning disability
#AutismFact: People with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, often have average or above intelligence http://bit.ly/Sdnexq
#AutismFact: Asperger is a German name and should be pronounced with a hard 'G' as there is no soft 'G' in the German language
#AutismMyth: ADHD and autism are the same condition
#AutismFact: Although some children with autism are also diagnosed with ADHD, they are two separate conditions http://bit.ly/WrR8i2
#AutismFact: Many children with autism display ADHD symptoms but the similarities disappear with age http://bit.ly/WrR8i2
#AutismMyth: All people with autism are incapable of working
#AutismFact: Prospects is an employment and training service run by the NAS, helping people with autism into work www.bit.ly/Sj4iw7
#AutismFact: Prospects works to ensure that people with autism have the same training and job opportunities as people without a disability
#AutismFact: Prospects helps jobseekers and graduates with autism build skills, prepare for interviews, find and retain jobs www.bit.ly/Sj4iw7
#AutismFact: Prospects supports employers with the recruitment, training and retention of staff with autism
#AutismFact: Over a three year period, 70% of adults with autism supported by Prospects found employment
#AutismFact: 59% of adults with autism responding to a 2012 NAS survey said they find it hard to make friends >>(1/2)
#AutismFact: >>(2/2) and only 3% of people with autism surveyed said they find it easy to make friends #worldhelloday
#AutismMyth: All children and adults with autism prefer to spend their time alone #worldhelloday
#AutismFact: People with autism may want to interact socially but may not naturally have the necessary social skills
#AutismFact: People with autism experience difficulty in three main areas: social interaction, communication and imaginationwww.bit.ly/dlY0Dn
#AutismFact: People with autism can find it difficult to recognise emotions in themselves and express these to others www.bit.ly/dlY0Dn
#AutismFact: People with autism struggle to use and understand verbal and non-verbal language such as gestures www.bit.ly/dlY0Dn
#AutismFact: People with autism find it difficult to understand and predict other people’s behaviour www.bit.ly/dlY0Dn
#AutismMyth: Children and adults with autism do not care about other people
#AutismFact: People with autism can care deeply about others but may find it difficult to understand how others feel www.bit.ly/dlY0Dn
#AutismMyth: Autism is a rare condition which is only diagnosed in a small number of people
#AutismFact: There are over 500,000 people with autism in the UK (around 1 in 100) www.bit.ly/hpbNPQ
#AutismFact: Including families, autism touches the lives of over two million people every day www.bit.ly/hpbNPQ
#AutismMyth: Autism is a new condition
#AutismFact: The first detailed description of a child known to have had autism was written in 1799 by Jean Itard
#AutismMyth: Autism is caused by poor parenting or parenting behaviour
#AutismFact: The multiple causes of autism are still unknown with research ongoing but it is known that autism is not caused by poor parenting or parental behaviour
#AutismMyth: People with autism are deliberately being rude when avoiding eye contact
#AutismFact: Lack of eye contact doesn't necessarily mean someone is being rude; they could have autism
#AutismFact: Some people with autism find it difficult/physically painful to make eye contact
#AutismMyth: Autism is the result of emotional deprivation or emotional stress
#AutismFact: Autism is a lifelong disability. Many people with the condition are susceptible to anxiety disorders
#AutismMyth: Autism is a mental health condition
#AutismFact: Autism is a lifelong neuro-developmental condition which exists along a spectrum
#AutismMyth: If a person has autism, they will not have any other condition
#AutismFact: Autism can co-exist with other conditions including ADHD, Down’s syndrome, epilepsy and learning difficulties www.bit.ly/Pk6YsU
#AutismFact: Academic research indicates that 71% of children with autism also have a mental health problem
#AutismFact: According to a 2008 survey, just 15% of adults with autism are in full-time paid employment
#AutismMyth: People with autism will never achieve anything
#AutismFact: Some of the world’s most creative people are suspected to have had autism, including Mozart & Newton
#AutismFact: People with autism can lead fulfilling lives with the right understanding and support
#AutismFact: People with autism may demonstrate above average levels of concentration, reliability and accuracy