Autism is a naturally occurring variant in human neurology. It is not a disorder, illness or disease, but rather one of the many wonderful forms of human diversity. As such, autism is not caused by diet, early childhood experiences, exposure to chemicals or any of the many other suggestions that you may have heard cause autism.
Although autism is not a disorder, it is a disability. Autistic people are disabled by social and environmental expectations placed on them by a society not willing to explore ways to remove barriers that would ensure their full inclusion.
Autistic brains process information differently than non autistic brains, and this can have an impact on our social, emotional, behavioural, sensory, and cognitive experiences of the world. For more detailed information about how autism is identified please see our Fact Sheets:
Autism does not need to be cured. Instead, autistic people need to be accepted, supported and celebrated for who they are.