WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism is a difference in the brain that impacts how a person experiences and perceives the world around them. Autism presents differently in each person, including a range of strengths and weaknesses as well as intensity of how they experience the world and their Autism traits. In recent years, the neurodiversity movement has become more utilised and Autistic adults have spoken about their experiences which has allowed therapists and parents to learn, grow, and change how they think about the condition.
Autistic individuals will have (or have a history of) some but not all differences in communication, socialisation, and repetitive thoughts/restrictive behaviours listed below.
- Delay in talking
- Loss of words once acquired
- Echolalia (repeating), scripting (repeating words/phrases from movies/shows) or jargon after 2.5 years of age
- Strength in labelling items/nouns while difficulty asking for items or for help
- Takes things literally, struggles to understand jokes and sarcasm
- Shares facts, and has difficulty retelling events or stories
- Inconsistent use of eye contact
- Prefer to play alone, decreased joint attention
- Difficulty initiating or interacting with peers, may be better with familiar people/ adults
- Struggle expressing understanding of emotions
- Difficulty making and maintaining friendships
- Difficulty participating in conversations
- Difficulty understanding social cues
- Struggle with changes to routine
- Play in the same manner (crashing toys, lining up, have a play routine that is repeated)
- Delay/difference in creative play
- Have preferred toys, topics, interests (can change with time)
- Focus on details, or need things to be perfect
- Sensory Differences: including sensitivities to sound, touch, taste, hearing etc.
WHAT MOST PEOPLE THINK:
WHAT IT CAN ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE:
When talking about Autism, many people think that Autism is linear, however this is a common misconception. Instead, individuals present in a variety of ways and have a range of strengths, needs, and/or areas of needed support.