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While people with Autism share common characteristics each person is unique and has their own strengths and challenges.

What is Autism?


You may have heard of the expression "Autistic Spectrum Disorders" ( ASD ) Some other conditions with very similar symptoms to autism are said to be "on the autistic spectrum." These include Aspegers Syndrome and Dyspraxia.
What are the characteristics of Autism
Autism is a developmental disability that specifically affects those areas of the brain that control social ability and communication skills.  Children and Adults with Autism typically have difficulty in verbal and non–verbal communication.  They may have difficulty relating to the outside world and can present unusual reactions to the people around them,  which can include aggressive behavior that may cause injury to themselves or others.   The disorder also causes sensitivity to the senses of sight,  touch,  hearing,  smell and taste.  In many cases a child appears normal and reasonably healthy for the first 18 to 24 months but then there is a regression of speech development,  often to the point of muteness.   Severe problems with behavior, communication and social relationships are caused by the inability to understand what other children would normally sense through sight touch and hearing.  Obsessions are very apparent, these can range from,  wearing the same clothes everyday to more severe obsessional behavior e.g. laying in floor in supermarket/road if the same procedure is not carried out at each outing.
So... What is Autism
Autism is among the most tragic of developmental disorders, with a range of neurological features typically affecting children between the ages of 18 to 30 months, in severe cases effectively erasing emergent personalities and cloaking what is left in an array of bizarre and impenetrable behaviours.  A child with severe Autism is trapped in a mental world of his/her own,  which we can only imagine, often being unable to communicate or react in conventional ways.  Disability from the disorder can vary between extremes, ranging from those requiring constant supervision and assistance, to those who are able to attend mainstream school, gain employment and lead relatively independent lives.