Understanding autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism) is a lifelong developmental condition that affects the way a person relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people.

The term 'spectrum' describes the range of difficulties people on the autism spectrum may experience and the degree to which they may be affected. The main areas of difficulty are in social communication, social interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviours and interests.

  • An estimated one in 70 people has autism; that’s almost 230,000 Australians.
  • Autism affects almost four times as many boys than girls.
  • People on the autism spectrum may also have:
    • unusual sensory interests such as sniffing objects or staring intently at moving objects
    • sensitivities to noise including avoiding everyday sounds and textures such as hair dryers and vacuum cleaners
    • intellectual impairment or learning difficulties

Autism describes a cluster of symptoms, where no two people are identical. It is very important to treat people with autism as individuals, and to examine and explore what they can do, and what they are capable of learning.

Everybody with autism is different, but each person with autism has elements of three things in common. These are:

  • Difficulty relating to people, including avoiding eye contact and physical contact
  • Strong interest in a particular item, hobby or skill
  • Repetitive behaviours including clapping or hand flicking



Contact us today

Give us a call on 1800 275 753 to discuss your support needs with our Allied Health team, or send an online enquiry and we'll be in touch.

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How can CPL help?

Allied Health therapies

CPL's Allied Health team can support people with autism to communicate in a way that is right for them, as well as helping to understand sensory issues that may impact you or your family.

Support at home 

Sometimes it helps to have an extra set of hands at home. CPL can support your needs, from getting ready for school, university or work, right through to mealtime assistance and medication.

Independent living

CPL provides 24/7 Supported Independent Living services, and has a number of vacancies in accessible homes.

Employment and Training opportunities

There are a range of disability employment and training pathways for people with autism, designed to help you reach your goals and employment aspirations.