Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are pervasive developmental disorders, characterized by limitations in social interaction, communication and imagination. They are often associated with stereotypical or rigid behavior patterns. In June 2009 the Health Council of the Netherlands presented an advisory report to the Ministers of Youth and Families, Health, Social Affairs and Education entitled: ‘Autism spectrum disorders: a lifetime of difference’. In this report it is argued that in order for treatment and support to succeed each ASD patient needs a tailored approach taking into account the specific, individual characteristics of the disorder but also their social and functional context. A thorough, action-oriented diagnosis is crucial, mapping the individual potential and limitations. Research is needed to expand the possibilities of treatment. With regard to the continuity of care, permanent arrangements to provide the services of life coaches are recommended. Such professionals would be able to provide guidance in the areas of health, education, employment and municipal services. People with an ASD are different. They stay that way throughout their lives. Given the right facilities, a significant proportion of these people are able to function and participate in contemporary society.