Common factors Autistic people usually have difficulties with organisation which makes doing the tasks we encounter on a daily basis extremely difficult. They often prefer to be given just one instruction at a time and even then, may not know when the task is finished. They may find it hard to remember what they might need for an activity or an outing. They will usually have trouble paying attention to two things at once and doing things in the right order. They might be able to do something in one place but not another. They might not acknowledge a person if they are not in their usual place. All of these things can have a great impact on their performance in school and adult life. Many autistic people have intense special interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be life-long, and may be anything from art or music, to trains or computers. Some autistic people may eventually be able to work or study in related areas. For others, it will remain a hobby. Some autistic people may also have learning disabilities which can affect all aspects of their life, from studying in school to learning how to wash themselves or make a meal. As with autism, people can have different ‘degrees’ of learning disability, so some will be able to live fairly independently – although they may need some support to achieve this – while others may require lifelong, specialist support.