Autism – What is it and what does it mean?
Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder is a disability that affects how someone communicates with the people around them. The word spectrum is used as the affect of autism varies greatly with some individuals being impacted severely and others not as much. The term higher functioning is used for those who are less affected. Aspergers syndrome is a form of Autism and those with Aspergers are often of above average intellect but may struggle with understanding or communicating effectively.
Autism is very complex and individuals present their symptoms in many different ways. Often an autistic person can be very sensitive to different senses such as sound, light, taste, touch and smells on the other hand a different individual may also be under sensitive to these senses. It is for this reason that spaces such as supermarkets, stations and airports can have a negative affect on a person with autism. The system overload of lights, noise and smells are simply overloading their sensitive systems.
For some with autism the condition is very debilitating and leaves them needing much care and supervision, even within those who are badly affected by the condition there are examples of brilliance that make autism such an interesting and compelling condition.
I plan to bring you some of the finest and most interesting Autistic Savants over the coming weeks and months, feel free to get in touch with any you think deserve a mention.