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Autism misunderstandings "damaging"

A new report suggests that common misconceptions surrounding autism may be damaging for people who are living with the disability.

A survey of more than 2,000 adults across the UK shows that the vast majority of people are uninformed about the condition, and unaware of how common it actually is.

The "Think Differently - Act Positively" report was commissioned by the National Autistic Society (NAS).

It reveals that 27% of those who had heard about autism mistakenly thought it mainly affects children, and only 39% knew that the condition cannot be cured.

Furthermore, 90% of those questioned did not know how common autism is. The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people in the UK.

However, respondents did say they would be far more willing to engage with people with autism if they understood more about it.

A total of 84% of parents or grandparents said they would not be concerned about a child with autism joining their child's class, and more than two thirds (67%) would be happy to work with someone with autism.

Benet Middleton, director of communications at the National Autistic Society, said: "As a lifelong social and communication disability, living with autism can often be an isolating experience.

"By encouraging people to think differently and understand more about autism, the NAS hopes to improve the lives of thousands of people with the condition."

National Autistic Society

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