Approximately more than half a million people (700,000) in England have autism which is equivalent to greater than 1% and similar to the prevalence of dementia. If families are included then autism touches the lives of 2.7 million people every day. In Kingston it is estimated that approximately 1803 individuals have autism. This number can be expected to increase along with the expected increase in the population. Autism is defined as a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how an individual makes sense of the world around them. The core features can be characterised by a ‘triad of impairments’ in social interaction, imaginative thought and communication.

JSNA_AutismChapter2015