Autism spectrum Condition (ASC) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition, which presents itself through a spectrum of symptoms. Autism appears in early childhood, causing delays in many areas of a childs social and emotional development, for example learning to talk, play, and interact with others.
The signs and symptoms of autism can vary, as do its effects. Some autistic children have very mild impairments, while others have more obstacles to overcome. Although it is evident that every child on the autism spectrum has problems, at least to some degree, in the following three areas:
- Communication Skills - Communicating verbally and non-verbally
- Social Skills - Relating to others and the world around them
- Behaviour - Thinking and behaving flexibly
The effects autism has on child can vary greatly from sensory differences, struggles with social skills and communication to high levels of anxiety.
Sensory - Autistic individuals can be affected by their environments due to the sensory difficulties which are part of an ASC diagnosis. This means that smells, visual stimuli, noise, and crowded environments can create significant challenges causing a child mild discomfort to symptoms of acute pain and distress which have a direct affect on their ability to function.
Social Behaviour - All individuals on the autism spectrum will a range of strengths and challenges, however they will all have difficulties with communication, which can range from no speech to subtle challenges such difficulties in understanding sarcasm.
National Autistic Society (NAS) Website: www.nas.org.uk