Seeing the world from a different angle
Autism is a spectrum disorder often referred to as ASD (autism spectrum disorder). This means that even though some traits or habits are the same, will the autism affect each individual different than the other. Because of this are some people with autism able to live relatively independent lives, while others need a lifetime of specialist support.
Each child with an ASD will have their own pattern. Sometimes a child's development is delayed from birth, while other times the child develops normally until they suddenly lose for example social or language skills. Others again will have a normal development until they have enough language to demonstrate some thoughts and preoccupations. For some children can the lack of language be the major symptom, while for others unusual behaviours can be the dominant factor.
In general we can say that people with autism often experience over sensitivity or under sensitivity to things others find normal. This can be sounds, touches, tastes, smells, light or colours. People with autism have described that the world to them is a mass of many people, places and events, and they have trouble to make a sense of it all which can cause them anxiety. They can also have trouble understanding and relating to other people, and to take part in social activities either with friends, family or other people.
As said earlier, autism is a spectrum disorder. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's) the three main types of Autism spectrum disorder are:
- Asperger's syndrome
- Pervasive developmental disorder
- and Autistic disorder
These are some symptoms of Autism at early age:
6 months - No big smiles or other joyful expressions.
9 months - No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions.
12 months - No babbling, no back-and-forth gestures (for example pointing, showing, reaching or waving).
16 months - No words being said.
24 months - No meaningful two-word phrases (this does not including imitating or repeating)
Any age - any loss of speech, babbling or social skills.
People with autism often have three main areas of difficulty:
- difficulty with social communication
For example reading another person body language, or understand their facial expressions or tone of voice. It can also be difficult for them to understand jokes and sarcasm.
- difficulty with social interaction
· For example can people with autism have trouble recognising and/or understanding other people's emotions and feelings, and express their own. This makes it difficult for them when socialising with other people. They might appear insensitive because they are not able to recognise what someone else is feeling, and therefore might prefer to spend time alone. They can also sometimes behave inappropriately because it is not always easy for them to express feelings, emotions or needs like other people would. This can make finding friends hard for people with autism since some may want to make friends, but are not able to express their thoughts.
- difficulty with social imagination
· For example it can be hard for autistic people to interpret other people's thoughts, feelings and actions, and to predict what could happen next. They can struggle with understanding the concept of danger. And they can have troubles with engage in imaginative play and activities.