Hey April is Autism Awareness Month so I want to talk to you about what Autism is and advise you on what to do if you ever meet someone who is on the Autistic Spectrum. I am passionate about this subject as I have met so many people who have ASD. While meeting these amazing people I feel that many people are unaware of Autism. This is why I am writing this post, to educate more people about it.
What is Autism?
The National Autistic Society states that Autism is a lifelong disability affecting how a person communicates and relates to other people. There are different forms of Autism (from mild to severe) and it affects each person differently. Most people with Autism see, hear and experience the world differently. There is no cure for Autism but with the right support people with ASD have fulfilled lives.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism
The NHS claims that the two most common signs of Autism are:
- difficulties with social communication and interaction – meaning that they find it hard to make friends or to join in conversations
- repetitive behaviour, routines and activities – this will involve fixed daily routines or repetitive body movements such as rocking.
However signs and symptoms of Autism vary from person to person. Here are some more symptoms:
- Sensory sensitivity – being over or under sensitive to certain sounds, lights or smells. This can lead to someone with Autism to have a meltdown known as sensory overloads.
- Difficulty understanding body language, facial expressions or gestures
- Taking what people say literally, especially when people use metaphors
- Lack of eye contact or too much eye contact
- Struggles with sharing their feelings and understanding other peoples feelings
- May say or do things that can appear rude
- May not speak or have delayed speech
- Obsessions with certain objects or people
- Unaware of danger
I genuinely believe that everyone is on the Autistic Spectrum as everyone shows at least one trait that someone who is Autistic would have: some people love routines and structure, some people take what others say literally and some people are not very emphatic towards others. But people who gain a diagnosis strongly demonstrate all of the signs of Autism.
How you can help people with ASD
Here are some ways to help someone with Autism to live easier, fulfilling lives:
- Using simple language, short sentences when talking to them
- Stick to a certain routine that they are comfortable with
- Be aware of sensory sensitivities e.g. a noisy environment, wearing bright coloured clothes or strong perfume
- Being understanding towards their needs and difficulties
- Using visual aids of what is going to happen
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post and know a bit more about Autism. People with Autism want to be loved and accepted as much as anyone would. x