What is Autism?
Autism also known as Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects how a person thinks, communicates, and interacts with others. It is typically diagnosed in early childhood, but its effects can persist throughout a person's life, and not all individuals with autism will display the same symptoms or severity of symptoms. Whilst diagnostic manuals will refer to Autism Spectrum Disorder, there is increasing recognition autism is best understood as a condition, rather than a disorder.
What might you notice?
The classic features of Autism include difficulties with social interactions and limited or repetitive patterns of behaviour or interests. Some individuals with Autism may have sensory sensitivities, experiencing heightened or decreased sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as lights, sounds, textures, or smells.
It's important to note that not all individuals with Autism will display the same symptoms or severity of symptoms.
How might it impact your life?
There are unique challenges for individuals with Autism and their families. This can include difficulty forming relationships, navigating social norms and participating fully in social, educational, and employment settings. Sensory sensitivities may also pose challenges in everyday life, leading to sensory overload or discomfort in certain environments. Additionally, individuals with autism may face stigma, discrimination, and misconceptions from others, which can impact their mental health and wellbeing.
What treatment is available?
There is no cure for autism, but early intervention and appropriate support can greatly improve the quality of life for individuals. Treatment plans are typically tailored to the individual's unique needs and may include behavioural therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and other supportive interventions. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage specific symptoms or co-occurring conditions, such as anxiety or depression.