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Supporting patients with autism: part one

By Christopher Barber First published: Last updated:

Introduction

Autism is relatively common, with current prevalence rates estimated at around 1 in 36 people (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023). It is now known that relatively few people with autism have an additional learning disability (around 15% or less), but they are the ones who are most vulnerable, have the poorest health outcomes, are at greatest risk of abuse and most in need of additional help with accessing healthcare (National Autistic Society, 2023). There are between 700 000 and 2 million people in the UK who have autism (National Autistic Society, 2023). Therefore, it is likely that at some point in their career, nurses will encounter and engage with a person with autism.

This article is part one of a two-part series, and provides an overview of autism and how it may impact a person. The second part of this series explores the nurse’s role in supporting

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Christopher Barber

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