What We Support

The NPAA supports autism and all neurodivergent conditions – here are some examples:

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition which affects an individual’s ability to communicate and interact socially with others. The National Autistic Society has produced a video with Alan Gardner (aka the Autistic Gardener) that explains the basics:

Autism varies from individual to individual – no two people are affected in exactly the same way. Because it encompasses a range of conditions and symptoms, it is referred to as a spectrum.

Asperger syndrome refers to a form of autism with mild or no impairment in the individual’s capacity to use language. Asperger syndrome is no longer a separate diagnosis as it is now considered part of the autism spectrum, however the term is still in common use.

Autism is not yet fully understood, and its cause is unknown, although it is believed to have a genetic basis. It is far more widespread than previously thought: at least 1 in 100, and possibly as many as 1 in 70 of the general population are estimated to be on the autism spectrum.

Dyslexia (difficulty with reading), dyspraxia (developmental coordination disorder or DCD – difficulty with body coordination) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are conditions that are believed to be linked to autism (although not on the autism spectrum). Many people with autism will also have a related condition (known as comorbidity). Although the symptoms are different, these conditions all affect the way the brain processes information.

Depression and anxiety are conditions experienced by many autistic and neurodivergent people. Depression is a form of mental illness characterised by low mood, which can be transient, recurrent, or permanent. Its effects range from mild to debilitating – it can make working and living a normal life difficult or impossible, and in extreme cases can be life-threatening. Depressive disorders can affect anyone at any time, regardless of social status.

More information on these and other conditions can be found in the Glossary of Neurodiversity