Those with autism have a developmental disorder which affects social communication and impairs the ability to relate well to others. Children and young people with autism often show little curiosity or imagination and frequently seem uninterested or indifferent.
ASDs lie on a continuum where children and young people are affected to different degrees. Those with autism often have learning difficulties whilst those with Asperger Syndrome will often have a high IQ. There are approximately four times more males than females with ASDs.
In some cases, those with ASDs will have isolated areas of ability. These areas of ability will often be considerably more advanced than the child or young person’s general level of development.
Also, many may develop obsessions.
Key areas which characterise ASDs include, communication, social interaction, poor flexibility of thinking or imagination and sensory difficulties.
There is likely to be a delay in processing information and problems with verbal and non-verbal communication. This might include incessant talking regardless of others and a literal understanding of language.
During social interaction there are likely to be difficulties when,
Poor flexibility of thinking or imagination presents when the child or young person is not aware of what might occur if a plan doesn’t happen. S/he has what is termed an underdeveloped ‘theory of mind;’ that is, the individual has difficulty realising others maybe thinking differently to her or himself. S/he may have difficulty empathising with others too and, in order to manage stress and anxiety, has a great need for predictability and order.
Sensory difficulties present when an individual reacts disproportionately to sound, sight, touch, smell or taste. S/he may also have difficulty managing fine and gross motor skills.
A child or young person with ASDs may,
Generally speaking, her or his verbal skills disguise a lack of comprehension.
Here a child or young person may,
S/he may also,
Autism cannot be seen in isolation from the emotional, social and psychological impact it has upon the individual and family as a whole.
I must be considered within the whole context of functioning and its impact upon the process of learning.