All people are different and there are differences in the way our brains experience the world. Autism a different way of thinking and processing the world and the way the senses take in information about the world. Autistic people might also process internal thoughts and sensations in a different way. Autism is a way a person is made and is the way they are all their life, and every autistic person is different. Autistic people can work things out in different ways and have great creative and inventive ideas. They often have special interests they can focus very well on, sometimes to the exclusion of other demands. But some autistic people feel that they have to mask their differences, and camouflaging can lead to lots of internal anxiety and depression. We need to help autistic people be themselves and make adaptations that help them do that. Autistic people run businesses, work in industry, have families, have all kinds of different jobs, and some need care for daily living in adulthood. Autistic people have many abilities.
Some autistic people don’t use verbal language to communicate. Some autistic people struggle to manage daily living and need a lot of help, and also have a great sense of humour and intense interests that bring them joy. Labels such as ‘high functioning’ or ‘low functioning’ are not helpful because of the wrong assumptions and expectations these can cause.
Autism is part of the Neurodiversity of the way human brains are designed. Autistic people can also be diagnosed with ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, epilepsy, anxiety disorders and many other conditions. PDA or Pathological Demand Avoidance is seen by some as part of the autistic spectrum.
As a spectrum condition, individuals with autism will share similar difficulties; and the way in which autism will impact on the individual is unique, with no two autistic people being exactly the same. Autistic people commonly experience difficulties in social “reading” because non-autistic people have complex social rules that don’t always make sense to them. An autistic person may have different perspectives and thought patterns and sensory processing which impacts on the way they interact with others. The typical social world can be overwhelming and the demands of daily life difficult to deal with, because it demands they ‘fit in’ to a particular way to socially interact that isn’t designed for their way of interacting.
Autistic people have many strengths and much potential that can be great assets to a career or learning in a particular area. We at Reachout ASC are a neurodiverse team and believe that if we listen and learn from autistic people and get the setting and environment right, autistic people can thrive.
Autistic people make up about 1 in 30 of the population, and autistic people are part of every culture, race and strata of societies. Autism has been part of human diversity for all time and is likely to be equal amongst male, female and non-binary people. We are still learning about autism and how we have missed so many autistic people, especially girls, because of our narrow understanding from the 1940s. If you want to read about this please read “Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently” by Steve Silberman (2015)
We know that the education system is not designed in a way that really suits the leaning styles of many autistic children and young people but we work with schools to help them make school successful for autistic pupils. We understand the complex relationship between autism, anxiety, masking and mental health and will support autistic young people to understand and celebrate who they are.
And let us teach you more in our online and face to face courses.