What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) is a lifelong, neurodevelopmental condition, which means that signs are often noticeable from an early age. Autism can affect on how a person communicates and interacts with other people and how they experience the world around them.
Autism is a “spectrum condition” meaning that difficulties will affect people in different ways. Some children with autism may not be able to speak at all, while others have much more subtle problems such as difficulty in social situations. Many autistic people are highly skilled in particular areas. In the UK, there are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum (1% of the population, National Autistic Society). Autism seems to affect more men and boys than women and girls, although this may be due to autism in women and girls being more difficult to diagnose.
Watch this video from the National Autistic Societyabout autism:
What are the signs of autism?
The signs of autism will vary from person to person. In young children, severe anxiety or stress can cause very similar symptoms. To diagnose autism there should be persistent difficulties in three areas since early childhood:
Restricted and repetitive behaviors, activities, interests or routines
If you are concerned your child may have autism, you need to see your GP to discuss whether a referral might be useful at this stage. Information or observations from nursery or school will be really helpful as part of the assessment (preferably in writing so it can be sent with any referral). Young people with autism may experience other difficulties too, such as anxiety, OCD, depression, ADHD, learning disabilities and gender dysphoria.
Birdhouse for Autism offers caregivers the ability to keep track of behaviors, health and daily living tasks. http://www.birdhousehq.com
Choiceworks is for helping children complete daily routines and tasks, understanding and controlling feelings and to improve their patience . ONLY available on the app store, at a small cost. http://www.beevisual.com
DayCapeallows therapists, teachers, parents, and even the child themselves to set up visual schedules (free) http://www.daycape.com
Excellent Australian Podcast about sleep in children including for children wth ADHD. Find it by clicking on this link : PodCastOne :Sleep
Reasons for melt-downs: a check-list A useful list of possible reasons your autistic child might be having melt-downs or are getting aggressive by this US charity: We are like your child
Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum - What Parents and Professionals Should Know About the Pre-Teen and Teenage Years by Shana Nichols with Gina Marie Moravcik and Samara Pulver Tetenbaum Available here
Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood Available Here
Can I Tell You About Asperger Syndrome? A guide for Friends and Family. By Jude WeltonAvailable Here
The Reason I Jump By Naoki Higashida. Translated from Japanese with a very moving introduction by David Mitchell who himself has an autistic son. This extraordinary book was written by a 13 year old severely autistic boy: he explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world. Highly recommended.Available Here
Autism: a social skills approach for children and adolescents. By Maureen Aarons and Tessa Gittens Available Here
Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence By Tony Attwood and Luke JacksonAvailable Here
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Practical Strategies for Teachers and Other Professionals By Northumberland County Council Communication Support Services UKAvailable Here
What is Asperger syndrome and how will it affect me? By Martine Ives. A book for 8-13 year olds Available Here
NAS Education Rights and Advice Service Provides impartial, confidential information, advice and support on education rights and entitlements for parents and carers of pre-school and school-age children with autism to help them get the educational support their child needs. Tel.0808 800 4102email:email@example.com