What is Autism?
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question.
What we do know is that
- Parents are understandably confused and concerned
- Professionals can be just as bemused
- All is not lost!!
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism – a condition that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others. The autistic spectrum covers a range of difficulties and it may help to think of autistic conditions as a problem with how an individual’s brain functions.
Autistic spectrum disorders are usually described as a person showing problems in:
- Social interaction
- Rigid or inflexible thinking
A person with autism can have more difficulties in one particular area, but all three will form part of the problem. Most also have issues with sensory integration, their senses constantly sending them confusing messages.
Children often have challenges with sleeping and can be highly selective in their choice of food. Anxiety and behavioural problems also occur – children with autism tend to make mistakes because they simply don’t know what to do or how to cope in certain situations.
More about autism
Finally, a few words of encouragement…
Children with autism have several strengths and it is important that we both understand them and use them to help, for example:
- Bags of energy and they enjoy physical, hands on activities
- Excellent memory and recall for items that interest them
- A real persistence for things that interest them
- Superb concentration and attention for things they like or have chosen
- Top notch visual skills