What is autism and how does it affect people
What is autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – its medical name – is the name for a range of conditions which affect how a person communicates and interacts with the world around them, as well as their interests and behaviour.
It’s not a disease or an illness, but a condition that somebody is born with. People who are born with autism have it all of their lives. Some people prefer to call it ‘autism spectrum condition’ (ASC) instead of ASD.
You cannot tell that somebody has autism by looking at them.
How does autism affect people?
Autism affects different people in different ways.
This is why it might take time for someone to be diagnosed with autism, as there isn’t one simple list of symptoms and signs to look out for.
Anne revealed that she didn’t actually get diagnosed until she was 45, back in 2003.
It can affect the way someone communicates with people, so a person might seem more shut off from those around them because they struggle to interact with them
Children with autism might choose to play on their own rather than in groups or they might be a lot quieter than everybody else.
It can also have an impact on how a person makes sense of the world around them.
Someone with autism might be over- or under-sensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. So you might see someone with autism wearing special headphones to cancel out sounds so that the noise of the world around them isn’t overwhelming.
People who have autism can be really good at remembering things so they might have a lot of knowledge about one particular subject.