Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), also known as autism, is called a ‘spectrum’ condition because it affects people in different ways. Because of this, it can be difficult to understand what autism is which can make it harder to cope. It can also have an effect on family and friends.
People with severe autism may need a lot of care and support. But others may be able to cope with most things quite well. For example, people with the form of autism known as Asperger syndrome find it hard to understand language but have fewer problems with speaking.
Autism is a lifelong condition. People with autism change over time. But they never stop having autism.