The autism spectrum or autistic spectrum describes a range of conditions including Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world around them.
The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is used because Autism varies from person to person. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support.
People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
Much of this material is from the National Autistic Society Website and you can find out more about Autism and the Autistic Spectrum on their website. There is far more information readily available online that there used to be, and reading about how other parents cope, what their experiences are and about various methods of approach can help you both understand and help your child.
People with autism have said that the world, to them, is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety. In particular, understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family and social life may be harder for them. Other people appear to know, intuitively, how to communicate and interact with each other, and some people with autism may wonder why they are ‘different’.
The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are sometimes known as the ‘triad of impairments’. They are:
- Difficult with social communication
- Difficulty with social interaction
- Difficulty with social imagination
All people with autism can benefit from a timely diagnosis and access to appropriate services and support. If you wish to discuss any concerns you have about your child, you can find our details on our contact page.