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On 18 December 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 62/139, which designated 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day. The resolution invites all member states to observe World Autism Awareness Day in order to raise public awareness of autism.

Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is the name for a range of conditions (including Asperger syndrome), which affect a person’s social interaction and communication. It is a lifelong development condition which can present itself in a spectrum of behaviours, including: difficulty with communication and social skills; repetitive behaviour; highly focused interests; and sensory sensitivity. It is estimated that globally 1 in 160 children have autism and that in the UK the condition affects approximately 1 percent of the population.

This Briefing summarises the condition, its prevalence in the UK, Government policy on the subject since 2010, and recent developments.

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