What is Autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that predominantly affects a person’s communication skills and relationships with other people. It is a spectrum condition meaning that there are similar challenges that all people with autism face but having autism will also affect each of them differently. Some people with autism also have learning disabilities. Other difficulties that a person with autism could face include the following:

Social communication

  • People with autism often find it difficult to interpret verbal and non-verbal communication such as body language and facial expressions.
  • Many people with autism have a very literal understanding of language and so may find it difficult to absorb things such as jokes and sarcasm.
  • People with autism may become overloaded with information and need to be left alone to process if in a situation with lots of other people.
  • Some people with autism find it difficult to form friendships and relationships due to some of the above points.

Any change to a familiar routine

Many people with autism take comfort in the familiarity of routines, for example: eating the same food for lunch every day. A change in routine can be very distressing for some people with autism both emotionally and physically. It is advised that if there needs to be a change in routine, that the person is prepared in advance.

Highly focused interests

Many people with autism have specialised interests in particular areas, for example, music or art.

Sensory sensitivity

People with Autism may also experience over or under-sensitivity to sensations such as sounds, smells, tastes, colour and light.

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