Autism: What is It?

Because an autistic child looks ‘normal’ others assume they are naughty or the parents are not controlling the child. Strangers frequently comment on this ‘failing’

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. Children and adults with autism have difficulties with everyday social interaction. Their ability to develop friendship is generally limited as their capacity to understand other people’s emotional expression.

Reality to an autistic person is a confusing, interacting mass of events, people, places, sounds and sights. There seems to be no clear boundaries, order or meaning to anything. A large part of their life is spent trying to workout the pattern behind everything.

The exact cause or causes of autism is/are still not known but research shows that genetic factors are important. It is also evident from research that autism may be associated with a variety of conditions affecting brain development which occur before, during or very soon after birth.

Specialist education and structured support can really make a difference to a person with autism, helping them to maximise skills and achieve full potential in adulthood.

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