Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that can affect how a person communicates an relates to other people and how they experience the world around them. People with autism see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, but because autism is based on a spectrum being autistic will affect them in different ways. Therefore some will need more support in certain areas than others.
Although certain characteristics will vary from person to person there are certain characteristics that can present themselves.
People with autism can have difficulty interpreting both verbal and non-verbal communication. What may come naturally to someone who doesn’t have autism doesn’t come naturally to someone who has autism. They may struggle to understand sarcasm conversations or understand facial expressions. They will only have a literal understanding of language. Some may not speak or may have limited speech and may only prefer to use sign language or visual symbols rather than speech themselves. Others may have very good language skills but may talk at length about their own interest because they find it hard to understand the expectations of others within conversations.
People with autism have difficulty reading other people and understanding other people. This can make it hard for them to navigate the social world so they appear to be insensitive.
Routines are very important to someone with autism. They may not be comfortable with change and can find it very confusing and difficult.
Many autistic people have lightly focused interests which can be from anything from music, computers to trains. This interest can be good for their wellbeing and health.
People with autism may also experience over or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, lights, colours, temperatures or pain which may cause anxiety or physical pain.
How can I help
Whether you’re caring for someone with autism or whether you are suffering from autism it can be really difficult understanding the world around you. I can offer you a space to talk about your thoughts and feelings in a safe, confidential environment. Therapy allows you time to think about the world we live in and to try and make sense of it to develop coping mechanisms which you can use throughout the day. Talking therapy can be extremely beneficial to you, as you learn coping techniques.