WHAT IS NEURODIVERSITY?

Neurodiversity refers to the concept where neurological differences are
recognized and respected as any other human variation.
Neurodiverse conditions include autism, Tourette Syndrome, attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and others.

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For many autistic people, neurodiversity is viewed as a concept and there
is a social movement that advocates for viewing autism as a variation of
human wiring, rather than a disease. Neurodiversity activists reject the
idea that autism should be cured, advocating instead for celebrating
autistic forms of communication and self-expression, and for promoting
support systems that allow autistic people to be accepted and live as
they are.

AUTISM
Autism is a lifelong neuro-developmental condition. It is characterised by
differences in behavior, social interaction, communication and sensory
processing. These differences can present people on the autism spectrum
with challenges in how they interact with their environment.
To receive a diagnosis of autism, these symptoms need to be evident from
childhood and impair the person’s daily functioning.

The word ‘spectrum’ is used to reflect the wide scope of differences in how
individual people experience autism and their environment.
While some people on the autism spectrum also have an intellectual
impairment or disability, many others have average intelligence, while
others have above-average intelligence.

People on the autism spectrum may exhibit non-typical skills and focus.
This can include:
• unusually intense or focused interests, including savant skills
• excellent memory skills
• high level of attention to detail, patterns and codes
• either difficulties or exceptional skills with organisation

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF AUTISM?

The behavioural differences of many individuals with autism are so
apparent that it seems intuitive that the causes would also be obvious.
But research over the past 70 years has indicated this isn’t so.
Autism has no single, known cause. Current research suggests that both
genetics and environment play a role. There is no evidence that autism
is caused by a child’s upbringing or social circumstances.

There is no known cure for autism. However, an early diagnosis and
targeted intervention can assist in reducing the impact of a child’s autism
on their functioning.

An estimated one in 100 people has autism; that’s almost 230,000
Australians.

Males are 4 times more likely as females to be diagnosed with Autism.

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