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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.
  • The cause of ASD is not known but 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.
  • 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.
  • In addition, some people with ASD also have other disorders (such as epilepsy).

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