AUTISM – Always Unique, Totally Interesting, Sometimes Mysterious
Did you realise today is Autism Awareness Day, heralding the start of Autism Awareness Month?
What is Autism? What does it mean when people talk about ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’?
To look at it scientifically, autism is:
the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the person’s communication and social interaction skills.
But, in what’s really a hallmark of Autism Spectrum Disorder, it’s not as simple as that, either.
The use of the word ‘Spectrum’ is in itself a description of the many different aspects of Autism. There is a range of difficulties people on the spectrum may experience. Their is a range of how much impact autism has on their lives.
One person on the Autism Spectrum may live relatively normally. Another may require continued specialist support.
While there are many differences with Autism, some of the more common themes centre around commuincation and social interaction.
These are the main areas of difficulty for someone on the spectrum – but, again, to different degrees.
People on the Autism Spectrum may also have unusual sensory interests, or particular sensitivities. For example, they may hate and avoid particular sounds, like a hairdryer, or textures, like wool or sandpaper.
They may also have intellectual impairment or learning difficulties. Although it’s a big mistake to presume this is everyone on the Spectrum.
The safest assumption to make about anyone on the Autism Spectrum is that they are:
Always Unique, Totally Interesting, and Sometimes Mysterious.
It’s also safe to say they can teach you something.
With an estimated 1 in every 100 Australian being on the autism spectrum, chances are you know someone on the spectrum. Maybe you don’t even realise that they are.
Google ‘Autism Awareness Month’ for a month’s worth of fascinating reading about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Actually, you could be reading all year, and you’d still have a mountain of information to get through!
Whether you know someone or not, now’s as good a time as any to see what you can learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder. You’ll be the better-off for it.