Autism is a lifelong communication and social disorder that 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.
All individuals with Autism exhibit, to a greater or lesser degree, a Triad of Impairment, which is the defining characteristic of Autism, as identified by Dr. Lorna Wing.
Social relationships, poor social timing, lack of social empathy, rejection of normal body contact, inappropriate eye contact.
Impairment across all modes of communication: speech, intonation, gesture, facial expression and other body language.
Inflexibility of though rigidity and inflexibility of thought process
Resistance to change, special interests and ritualistic behaviour, may parallel play as opposed to playing and interacting with peers.
Alongside the triad there may be sensory issues, known as the fourth strand. Peope with Autism may be under or over sensitive to sights, sounds, smell, taste and touch.
Autism is a very complex and individual disorder. The Autism spectrum covers a huge range of abilities and all people on the spectrum are individuals with their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses. It is the 'Triad of Impairment' that is common to all people with Autism.
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