Autism is a lifelong development disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people.
It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.
Some people with autism are able to live relatively normal lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support.
People with autism may also experience over - or under - sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism.
People with asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence.
They have fewer problems with speech, but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.