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Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

What is Autism?

There are different terms to describe Autism, including Autistic, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Aspergers Syndrome. Families can choose which term suits their family best. On these pages we will use Autism.

All autistic people share certain difficulties, but these will affect them in different ways. Every child or person is an individual. This is why Autism is known as a spectrum condition/disorder. Read more about Autism.

The main areas of need are:

SOCIAL COMMUNICATION AND INTERACTION

RESTRICTED AND REPETITIVE BEHAVIOURS

  • Difficulties with conversation
  • Difficulties showing or coping with feelings
  • Difficulties understanding & using non-verbal behaviour (eye contact, gestures, facial expressions etc)
  • Difficulties building relationships
  • Repetitive behaviour (e.g. repeating movements, sounds, words)
    Intense interests
  • Rigid routines, rituals & difficulties managing change
  • Sensory needs (e.g. being sensitive to sound/light/smell etc)

However, people with autism have lots of strengths too! Some people with Autism are very good at:

  • Problem solving
  • Having a deep knowledge of their interests
  • Memory
  • Noticing details
  • Being able to focus intently when interested in something

Some autistic people have learning disabilities, speech and language difficulties, mental health needs and/or other conditions.  This means that all people with Autism will need different levels of support.

Click the links on the left for Autism services where you live.