What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to other people. Autism also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
Autism is a spectrum condition which means that people with Autism have a range of difficulties in common but the condition will affect them in different ways. Many people with Autism are able to live independent lives but others need extra support and long-term specialist support.
Autism is part of the Autism spectrum, also known as ASD.
There are three main areas of difficulty people with autism share, they are:

  • Social interaction
  • Social communication
  • Social imagination

Autism is often diagnosed alongside other conditions, here are a few examples:

  • ADHD
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Down Syndrome
  • Hearing impairment
  • Dyspraxia
  • Epilepsy

What causes Autism?

There has been ongoing research into the cause of Autism and to date, no cause has been found. There have been lots of speculation about foods, immunisations and so on but research is ongoing.

If you are worried in any way about any of the points raised, please contact your GP in the first instance
How do they see the world?

People with Autism often struggle to make sense of the world around them, they are not always able to make sense of people, places and events – this can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.

Some find social interaction fine while others find it difficult as well as participating in daily life. In particular, relating to other people can be quite confusing for people with Autism often wondering why they are ‘different’.
Autism is not a ‘visible’ disability and it can be hard for parents/carers as people normally confuse this with ‘naughtiness’ which is not the case.
As much as we would like, there is no cure for Autism but there are services out there which should be readily available and accessible for all who requires them.

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