People with Autism have difficulty understanding the meaning of words and the intention of the speaker and may not be able to interpret gestures
Download our Autism Information Sheet here.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong condition in which the brain works differently to others. It affects how a person makes sense of the world around them and communicates and interacts with others.
It is often referred to as a ‘hidden disability’ as it is not always apparent to others. Autistic people have a range of strong skills and other things they may struggle with. Being Autistic does not mean they won’t have a good life, it just means that they may need help in some areas. It is not clear what causes Autism, but often it can affect people in the same family. Everyone is different and Autism is no exception, however it can be better understood through the Triad of Impairment.
Interaction - Social differences may mean poor social timing, lack of empathy, rejection of body contact and off-set eye contact
Communication - Speech, vocal tone, gesture, expression and body language may be impaired, making it harder to present one's self
Imagination - Rigid thought processes make autistic people resistant to change and often present special interests and ritualistic behaviour
Autism may also present sensory differences, developing an increased or decreased sensitivity to touch, sights, smells, tastes and sounds.
Most importantly, Autism varies from person to person and the requirement of need will range individually.
What Causes Autism?
It is not known whether Autism has a cause, it’s widely speculated to originate from birth but may not present itself immediately. It is often considered to have hereditary connections; that being, it is passed on through genetics.
There is on-going research into many different potential causes of Autism surrounding brain defects, dietary allergies and more. What we do know is that Autism is not caused by bad parenting or vaccinations; which are two common misconceptions. Research also suggests that there is no singular cause of Autism and it is likely due to a combination of factors, which is why Autism is so diverse.
Is there a cure for Autism?
There is no cure for Autism, it is a lifelong condition. There are however, many different methods of helping those with the condition to live a good life.
There is also a growing community for celebrating the diversity that Autism brings and treating it as being individual, rather than a debilitating condition.
Language & communication
People with autism can have difficulty understanding the meaning of words and the intention of the speaker; they may take things literally and are not able to interpret gestures, intonation, facial expressions or body language. Many children may have delayed speech and some may not develop speech at all and will need other communication aids e.g. pictures, photos, gestures etc. Maintaining consistent eye contact can also be difficult for them
Hyper/Hypo Sensory Sensitivity
Autism may present in signs of increased or decreased physical sensitivity. You may have heard of ‘Autism Friendly’ environments, which are areas of reduced sensory stimulants. They exist because Autistic people can feel very uncomfortable in places with bright lights, loud noises and other things that people without the condition might not even notice. These sensory differences can also make interpretation of surroundings more difficult, reducing perception of safety
As a spectrum disorder, its effects are different in everyone. Those with the condition often struggle with their interpretation of social situations. They find reading emotion, thoughts and intention difficult within themselves and others. This may appear as a lack of empathy, but it is more than likely they simply don’t have the ability to perceive others’ emotions. Some of those with the condition may not enjoy the company of others, whilst there are those who want to develop relationships, but struggle to do so. Cambian services aid in developing their understanding and behaviours in social situations
People with Autism tend to prefer structure and routine. This is caused by the way they process thoughts, and manipulate those into creative ideas. Preferring patterns in life, they may get upset if things change from what they’re used to. Body rocking and other repetitive movement is also common. People with Autism can be creative, but the way they play may differ. For example, they may play alongside friends but not necessarily with their friends directly. Autistic people may also not understand the dangers of certain activities
Some Key Things to Remember about Autism
• Autism isn’t incorrect in anyway, it’s just different to those without the condition and what they may be used to
• Having Autism doesn’t mean they can’t live a healthy and active life, it just means they might need some help with understanding things along the way
• Those with the condition understand things differently. When giving instruction, keep chat to a minimum, speak clearly, concisely and give them time to process what’s been said
• Not all behaviour can be attributed to Autism, and those with the condition are just as likely as those without it to have other disabilities
• The understanding of Autism is always developing and improving inclusivity of those with the condition in everyday society
If you would like some advice or more information on our services and what we can do for you, contact us here, or call 0800 138 1184 to discuss a referral in confidence.
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