A disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behaviour. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood. It is one of three recognized disorders in the autism spectrum , the other two being Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified, which is diagnosed when the full set of criteria for autism or Asperger syndrome are not met.

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether Autism is explained more by rare mutations, or by rare combinations of common genetic variants. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines.

The prevalence of autism is about 1–2 per 1,000 people worldwide, and it occurs about four times more often in boys than girls. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 20 per 1,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with ASD as of 2012, up from 11 per 1,000 in 2008. The number of people diagnosed with autism has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice and government-subsidized financial incentives for named diagnoses, the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. The signs usually develop gradually, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress.

Early behavioural, cognitive, or speech interventions can help autistic children gain self-care, social, and communication skills although there is no known cure, there have been reported cases of children who recovered. Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, though some become successful. An autistic culture has developed, with some individuals seeking a cure and others believing autism should be accepted as a difference and not treated as a disorder.


Ajuga School

Quarter Sessions Road Glenfield NSW 2167

is set in a peaceful rural area in South West Sydney. Ajuga provides an integration program for K-12 students with a severe emotional disturbance.

Arranounbai School

5 Aquatic Drive Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 Arranounbai School

is a school for specific purposes (SSP) and as such enrols students with disabilities. The student population is quite diverse and consists of children and young people K-12. T

Carenne School

158 Browning St Bathurst NSW 2795 Carenne

is a school for specific purposes located in the Bathurst district. The school provides an education for students with special needs (ages 4 years to 20 years).

Fisher Road School

115 Fisher Rd Dee Why NSW 2099 Fisher Road School

offers enrolment to students, between 4 and 18 years of age, who present with high support needs due to their intellectual disability. Many of the students also have additional physical, emotional and sensory problems.

Sir Eric Woodward Memorial School

Ayres & Acron Road St Ives NSW 2075

Sir Eric Woodward Memorial School is located on the fringe of the Ku-ring-gai National Park in St. Ives.

The Crescent School

Fitzroy St Goulburn NSW 2580

The Crescent School aims to develop in all students; an increased level of independence; individual excellence; high self-esteem and an enhanced self-image; an awareness of others and the immediate environment.

Charities and Organisations

Autism Speaks   Share your story Talk to someone today   Source: Schools NSW, Wikipedia