What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong disability which affects the social and communication centre of the brain. Autism affects the way an individual relates to people, situations and the immediate environment. Many individuals with Autism have difficulty processing everyday sensory information like sight, smells, touch, tastes and sounds. 

The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is used because Autism varies from person to person. 

Characteristics of Autism

The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are sometimes known as ‘The Triad of Impairments’. They are:

  • Social Communication
  • Social Interaction
  • Social Imagination
Individuals with Autism can also have Sensory Processing Differences. 

Find out more about these Characteristics of Autism here.


Asperger Syndrome 

Asperger Syndrome is classified as part of the Autism Spectrum. Please click here for further information on Asperger Syndrome.  


Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

Autism NI’s first priority is to support individuals with Autism and their families. To do this, we pride ourselves on delivering training that is of the highest standard of accuracy to ensure the information will be effective in supporting individuals with Autism. Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a relatively new diagnosis with limited and ever changing information regarding diagnosis, interventions and recognised treatment plans. Currently, we are researching PDA further and consulting with a range of professionals on the issue. For more information, please visit www.pdasociety.org.uk

Further Information 


Autism and Children

Autism and Adults

Useful Contacts

Interventions and Strategies