cognitive, sensory, and social processing, changing the
way people see the world and interact with others.
Autism is currently estimated to be present in 1 in 59 people*. It is not a mental illness, but a neurological difference - one of many variations of neurodiversity.
Every person living with autism is unique, with a wide range of skills, qualities, interests, and personality styles. As the saying goes, "if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism." The level of support required is also highly individual. This heterogeneity is due to the fact that autism is not a single condition but a cluster of underlying neurological differences that are present in varying combinations in each person. The behaviour and needs related to these differences share common themes but manifest in different ways for each individual.
Autism is considered an invisible disability since challenges and difficulties are often not immediately apparent. There are no visible physical markers. The cognitive differences associated with autism may also contribute to specific skills such as superior visual memory, attention to detail, and pattern recognition.
*Baio J, Wiggins L, Christensen DL, et al. Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2014. MMWR Surveill Summ 2018;67(No. SS-6):1–23. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6706a1In fact, many adults on the spectrum perceive autism as an inherent part of their identity, and themselves as creators of an emerging autism culture.