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What is autism?

The National Autistic Society describe autism as a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support.

All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.

Autism Alliance Board

The Autism Alliance Board is made up of autistic individuals, carers and organisations who are working together to help autistic people and their carers/parents lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives.

There are work groups contributing to the Autism Alliance Board which focus on specific areas. These are small groups trying to make some useful local interventions alongside complex problems and it is recognised that there is still lots of work to be done.

The board meets every 2 months while the work groups usually meet once a month.

Autism strategy

What is the autism strategy?

The Council, along with the City of London, are co-producing a five year autism strategy with autistic residents and their families and carers. This strategy will help the Council and its partners to work together to make services and the community friendly to autistic residents.

When will the final strategy be available?

The Autism Alliance Board for City and Hackney have been working to coproduce the strategy and the final draft is now ready. The document will be available on this page once it has been presented at the Integrated Commissioning Board and is formally agreed and adopted.

How can I help to shape this plan?

We have engaged with residents, families, carers, organisations and businesses throughout the production of this strategy and this will continue as we develop the action plan for the first year. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved or to join our Experts by Experience group please email

Page updated on: 21 October 2019