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Facts and figures

ASD is an umbrella term for a wide range of conditions, including autism and Asperger syndrome, as well as some other conditions with similar features.

The wider spectrum of ASD is thought to affect about one per cent of the population or more than 40,000 New Zealanders.

While the cause of ASD is not known, genetic factors are known to be important.

A great deal is known about how to minimise the impact of the condition. Some students make so much progress that their differences are hardly noticeable.

ASD is a developmental condition; this means that what is seen with each student will vary with age and will vary over time. In addition, there is a group of students who have significant difficulties in one or two of these areas but who may not meet the criteria for ASD.

Furthermore, some people with ASD also have other disorders (such as epilepsy).

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