Autism is lifelong and affects the social and communication centre of the brain.  Autism affects the way person relates to people, social situations, and the immediate environment.

1 in 20

Children in Northern Ireland have a diagnosis of autism


Adults and children have an autism diagnosis in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, 1 in 20 children have a diagnosis of autism (2023, Prevalence of Autism in School aged children, DHSSPS). Figures from the NI Census 2021 has recorded that there are 35,367 adults and children with an autism diagnosis in Northern Ireland. The statistics show that there could be a huge number of undiagnosed adults, as there are many adults who do not yet have a formal diagnosis of autism. The Census figures recorded 5.25% of 0-14 year olds have a diagnosis of autism, compared to 0.32% of 40-64 year olds (2022, Census 2021 main statistics for Northern Ireland phase 2, NISRA).

Statistics show that there are approximately three males diagnosed with autism for every one female diagnosed. However, we know that it is sometimes harder to diagnose females with autism and therefore this statistic can hide the true number of autistic females. Approximately 20 - 25% of autistic people will have an accompanying learning disability.

Statistics show that only 21.7% of autistic people are in employment despite autistic people having the ability, skills and will to be employed.

There are a range of strategies that can support an individual with autism. It is important to ensure the strategies used are suited to the strengths and difficulties of that individual as autism is a spectrum condition.