What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people; how they manage relationships and social situations and how they experience the world around them. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people; it is now known that a person’s biological and neurobiological processes for perceiving and interacting with the world around them differ significantly between those with a condition on the Autistic Spectrum and those without.
Autism is characterised by:
- Social Communication - verbal language, eye contact, use of facial expression and interpreting the body language of others around them
- Social Interaction - interacting and socialising with others
- Social Imagination – the need to follow set routines and rituals with difficulty adapting to change
2.Restrictive or repetitive behaviours, interests and activities.
The characteristics of Autism may and typically do, vary significantly between individuals. Someone at one end of the Autistic Spectrum could be non-verbal with learning difficulties and at the other end of the spectrum there may be a person with an exceptionally high IQ who is highly articulate.
Where a child or adult is experiencing all or even some of the difficulties above, or where the possibility of there being an underlying Autism Spectrum Disorder has been suggested by relevant others who interact regularly with them (school, employer, GP or local health / care service for example) gaining a clear diagnosis helps define their difficulties clearly, thereby providing understanding, control and a means for accessing additional support, in their lives.