Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder

​​Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability.

People with ASD have:

  • difficulties with reciprocal social interactions (they may have difficulties interacting with other people following the usual social customs)
  • difficulties developing communication skills
  • stereotyped and repetitive behaviour or interests (an intense interest in limited topics or patterns of behaviour, such as lining up objects).

Many people with ASD have different sensory processing patterns (such as finding some noises painful) and this can affect how they access and participate in school and the community.

Each person with ASD is a unique individual with their own interests, strengths and personality even though they share the characteristics listed above. ASD can occur with other impairments such as intellectual impairment or health impairments. Regardless of the diagnoses of impairments, recognising the individual's strengths and barriers are the key to understanding and working productively with each child. This website provides strategies to support the impairments associated with autism spectrum disorders. If you have concerns about your child that are outside the scope of this website, talk with your medical specialist, your early intervention providers or your allied health professionals.

Educators need to be aware of the strengths and barriers for each student with ASD - as they would with any student, so they can provide the best educational outcomes.

More information regarding the characteristics of ASD, diagnosis, prevalence and support may be found at:

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Last reviewed 16 October 2018
Last updated 16 October 2018