What is Autism?

Every person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is different to another and each has their own way of seeing the world, which makes them interesting and unique.

When someone has ASD, it means that their brains are wired differently to other people.
People with ASD find it difficult to interact socially and communicate with others. They often have difficulty understanding what other people are feeling and thinking.

They may not use gestures and body language in the way that other people do. For example they may not use eye contact and may not smile. However, their ability to communicate can vary tremendously, with some people with Autism having no or limited speech, and others having extensive vocabularies. Although people with ASD can find it difficult to talk to people and make friends, they still have the same emotions as anybody else.

People with ASD also like things to happen the same way. They might take the same route to school, shops or line up their toys in a particular order. If something is out of place or if routines change without warning they can get upset or worried. They may also be bothered by sudden loud sounds, bright lights or unexpected touch. They might become upset if someone hugs them or talks too quickly or loudly. They often have intense interests in particular topics and may be extremely knowledgeable about their special interest area. They can also have amazing memory for detail.