Autism Spectrum Disorder what is it?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological developmental disorder affecting an individual’s brain; having autism does not indicate a form of mental retardation.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is an umbrella term used to represent or denote a wide variety of spectrum disorders such as: PDD Nos, Autistic Disorder, low functioning Autism, Asperger Syndrome, also Atypical Autism (a type of Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified). There are differences between these spectrum disorders, but on the whole they are quite similar.
Autism “Spectrum” Disorder what is it?
The word “spectrum” is used because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in very different ways. Some are able to live relatively “normal” lives; while others on the lower end of the “spectrum” will probably have other disabilities such as epilepsy, some will also have educational difficulties and most will require a lifetime of specialist support.
There are three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism spectrum disorder share these are referred to as the “triad of impairments”.
The triad of impairments are:
- Difficulties with communication
- Difficulties with social interaction
- Difficulties with imagination
While all people with autism spectrum disorder share the triad of impairments, some autistic people may be affected more by one autism symptom, while others may be affected more strongly by a different autism symptom.
People with autism may experience some form of sensory sensitivity, which is referred to as sensory processing issues.
People with autism spectrum disorder and sensory sensitivity…
The majority of autistic people will also have sensory processing issues, these difficulties can occur in one or more of the five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. A person’s senses are either intensified (hypersensitive) or under-sensitive (hypo-sensitive).
For example: a person with autism may find certain background sounds, like the hum of a fridge for example unbearably loud or distracting, while the rest of us can ignore or block out the noise. To an autistic person the noise can cause anxiety or even physical pain, this can be referred to as an autistic anxiety trigger.
People with autism spectrum disorder that are hypo-sensitive will often not feel pain or extremes of temperature. Some may rock, spin or flap their hands to stimulate sensation, this is called autistic stimming. An autistic person will use autistic stimming to help with difficulties like balance and posture or to deal with anxiety, confusion even stress, another autistic anxiety trigger.
People with autism spectrum disorder and sensory sensitivity may also find it harder to use their body awareness system. Which tells us where our bodies are, so for those with reduced body awareness, it can be harder to navigate rooms without walking into objects or bumping into others. They will not appreciate what is an appropriate distance from other people which can cause issues with respecting personal space.
This can cause social problems, as the person with autism will be unaware of the need for personal space and may stand very close, making people feel very uncomfortable.
Social stories for autism can help an autistic child understand what personal space is and why it is important to allow others to have personal space.
An autistic child may also have problems with “fine motor” tasks such as tying shoelaces, and fastening buttons etc.
Sometime autistic people may have learning disabilities, which can affect all aspects of their life, from going to school, to learning how to wash themselves, clean their teeth, Or how to feed themselves.
Again social stories can help reduce the confusion and stress felt by an autistic child when trying to master “everyday” life skills the rest of us take for granted.
The symptoms of autism will vary from person to person each autistic person will have a different degree of learning disability.
Some autistic people will be able to live fairly independently, but may need some support.
While others may require lifelong, specialist support. However, all people with autism can, and do, learn and develop with the right sort of autistic support tools and autism resources.
One such form of autism resources is something called autism social stories.
These are short pieces of text with appropriate pictures-giving your autistic child, teen or adult specific social cues for everyday living skills.
Like how to wash their teeth, visiting the doctor, eating out. Social skills stories for autistic children and teens, or adults can be printed and used as instructions for all of life’s “normal” and “not so normal” life experiences and actions.
For many children with autism social stories act as a “role model” showing in simple easy to understand chunks how and why.
They are visual plans and can be drawn upon for many situations, skills, circumstances and behaviors like: transitions, changes to routines, learning new skills, re-enforcing already learnt skills and promoting positive behaviors.
An autism social skills stories answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and offer children with autism an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.
Helping the autistic person feel better in, and cope with, situations they may struggle to understand or deal with – by giving them clear visual and accurate information about those situations.
Autism social skills stories are excellent for of autistic support tools, they can be edited to personalize and printed for convenience. These autism resources can become a valuable part of an autistic person’s life.
To obtain these valuable autism resources visit any of the following sites and get downloads of autism social stories: