Our Brief Description Of Autism

Autism should not be able to be described concisely and certainly not in entirety due to the word 'autism' being an 'umbrella term' describing a wide range of behaviours.

Oliver enjoying a yoghurt

This is our understanding/interpretation of 'autism' -

Autism is a developmental disability often appearing during the first three years of life.  It is a disorder that affects the functioning of the brain.  Autism is said to be four times more prevalent in boys than girls and has no racial, ethnic or social boundaries.

Family income, lifestyle and educational opportunities do not affect the chance of the occurrence of autism in children.  Autism interferes with the normal development of the brain in reasoning, social interaction and communication skills.

Children with autism typically have trouble with verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and play activities.  Their disorder makes it difficult for them to communicate with others and to relate to the outside world.    They tend to talk 'at' you rather than 'to' you and avoid sustained eye contact.  It is hard for them to talk about feelings and they do not understand the emotions, gestures and facial expressions of others.  Autistic children interpret language literally and therefore do not understand sarcasm.  They can exhibit repeated body movements (examples being hand flapping or rocking), unusual responses towards people, and a weird attachment to certain objects.  Autistic children also hate any changes in established routines.  In some cases, aggressive and / or self-injurious behaviour may occur.  There is no known cure for autism. With support and training, it may be possible by adult life to have masked / disguised some of the autistic traits that made them appear 'different.'