An Autistic person will have impairments in the following areas:
The characteristics of each autistic person will differ and some people will be able to function in “mainstream” society whereas others will require lifetime support.
An autistic child will struggle with verbal and non verbal communication and will struggle to understand the world around them.
An autistic person will often have issues with communicating and will require other non verbal means to enable them to understand such as Makaton, visual learning tools etc.
The child will very often struggle socially and will behave “differently” in various situations such as parties, shopping trips or even at school/nursery.
There are often various additional characteristics associated with autism such as various sensory issues, a strong need for routine, repetitive behaviours and other mental health problems such as ADHD and dyslexia.
It can be very difficult raising awareness of autism as it is a mental not physical disability and others may interpret the behaviours of an autistic child as being that of a naughty child.
e.g on a shopping trip, an autistic child can be calm then something such as a tannoy announcement or a light flickering can effect the child’s' behaviour and they may become distressed, agitated and extremely upset.
It very often leaves the parents opting to not take their children out in social situations for fear of how they will react or how other will perceive the behaviour.
Having an autistic child is very often referred to as “raising an alien” or being in a different country where you don’t speak the language and it can be extremely physically and emotionally challenging for the family to deal with.
Over 500,000 people in the UK have autism and it affects one in every 100 people which is interesting considering the lack of information or awareness of the disability itself and how it affects so many families all over the world.