Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)

Having Autism means that the person has a different way of understanding and relating to other people and the world around them. 

Here are some of the things you typically see, in various combinations and from mild to severe, in people who have autism:

1.Differences with communication

  • Taking what people say literally (thinking people mean exactly what they say)
  • Not understanding jokes or sarcasm
  • Preferring facts and logic
  • Finding it hard to understand facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures.
  • Only feeling comfortable when talking about topics they are interested in
  • Repetitive in what they say

2. Differences with interaction and socialising with other people

  • Not wanting to make eye contact
  • Feeling awkward and not knowing what to say or do in social situations
  • Difficulties making and keeping friends and other relationships
  • Difficulty with seeing things from other people’s point of view

3.Repetitive and restricted behaviour and interests

  • Having special interests that they invest their time and energy into
  • Becoming very knowledgeable about a specific topic and spending a lot of time involved in the topic
  • Not coping well with change and preferring the same routine
  • Repetitive body movements

4. Sensory Differences

People with autism may be over sensitive to sounds, smells, touch, pain or light, finding these things uncomfortable, frightening or painful. Or, being under sensitive to some of these things.

 

All of these differences can make everyday life challenging.

  • Often people can feel worried and stressed by everyday activities such as going to school, meeting people and trying new things.
  • Difficulties with social communication and interaction and the differences in their interests, strengths and talents can make them feel left out and misunderstood by other people, which can lead to problems with low mood and low self- esteem

Top Tips

  • Tip 1

    Autism is becoming more widely known as a type of neurodiversity on a wide spectrum. Most people on the autism spectrum are very able and capable and may only need adjustment and adaptation to their environments in order to thrive.

  • Tip 2

    An assessment for autism will highlight the individual areas that the person has difficulty with and should be used to develop a plan for supporting them and helping them to thrive in different settings, for example home and school.

  • Tip 3

    It is not uncommon for people with autism to experience mental health difficulties such as anxiety or low mood, due to the challenges they face in their daily environments and trying to cope with their symptoms in a world that does not seem to 'fit' them. Managing anxiety and improving low mood will mean developing a better fitting environment as well as learning skills of emotional fitness.

  • Tip 4

    If you have autism or you are waiting for an assessment to see whether you have autism, it can be helpful for you and the people who support you to use the right techniques and strategies. Click on the website and video links below for more information, advice and support.

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