Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurological disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to the people and world around them. ASD can affect behaviour, social interactions, and one’s ability to communicate. ASD crosses all cultural, ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic boundaries.

ASD is a spectrum disorder, which means that while all people with ASD will experience certain difficulties, the degree to which each person on the spectrum experiences these challenges will be different.

Whether someone with ASD is affected mildly, severely, or somewhere in between, they might have difficulty verbalizing their thoughts, managing their anxiety, dealing with change, or participating in group activities. This can sometimes result in unintended conflicts with the community at large, lead to engagement with the mental health sector, as well as criminal and family justice systems. Without the proper supports, a person with ASD can experience joblessness, homelessness, strain and stress. This can have a major impact on their quality of life.

For a simple, clinical definition of ASD, please visit the POND Network, the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorder Network. Autism Ontario is a proud partner of their Parent Advisory Committee.