Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome- Early Years

Updated: 25/08/16

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong disability which affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with people around them. It is a ‘spectrum’ condition, meaning that while all children with Autism share certain areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in different ways and to varying degrees.

Every child is unique, so any description needs to be taken as a general guide. However, all children diagnosed as having an autistic spectrum disorder will show difficulties in three main areas referred to as the ‘triad of impairment’. These are:

Social communication

Social interaction

Social imagination

The characteristics of Autism vary from one child to another, but as well as the three main areas of difficulty, children may also show:

Resistance to change

A preference for routines

Little or no symbolic play

Difficulty with organising or planning

Sensory Activity

For more information, please see the NCC Early Years website:


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