Photos: Serenity Care Home


Find answers to your questions below:

1. What is Autism? 

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need specialist support. People with autism may also experience over or under sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

2. What causes autism?

The brains of people with autism do not function as they should. They function in a different way and this makes it difficult for them to understand certain things and they often interpret things in a different way. Usually most people are born with their autism. A lot of research has been done into the causes of autism but so far no single reason has been isolated.

More than 1 person in a family may have autism. It can be genetic.

3. Is there a cure for autism?

There is no known 'cure' for autism. This does not mean, however, that nothing can be done for a person with autism.

Our understanding of autism has grown tremendously since it was first identified in the 1940s, and as we learn more about the condition, more interventions will undoubtedly become available.

Because autism is a 'spectrum' disorder it affects different people in different ways. It is therefore very difficult to generalise about how a person with autism will develop over time. It is particularly important to realise that an intervention which works well with one individual may not be appropriate or effective with another.

The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations. Both children and adults can exhibit any combination of autistic behaviours in varying degrees of severity . This means that two children, both with the same diagnosis, can act very differently from one another and have varying skills.

4. How do people with autism behave?

They may not speak. But they may use things like pictures or sign language to communicate.

  • They may not understand what other people say.
  • They may copy what other people say.
  • They may only talk about their favourite subject.
  • They may not take part in games or activities with other people.
  • They may like to play the same game or do the same thing every day.
  • They may be very interested in one thing and know a lot about it.
  • They may be good at remembering information.
  • They may do well at school, college and work.
5. What is Asperger syndrome

There is a type of autism called Asperger syndrome.
People with Asperger syndrome usually do not have learning disabilities but they find the same things difficult as people with autism.

Some people with Asperger syndrome find these things difficult.

  • They find it difficult to tell people what they need, and how they feel.
  • They find it difficult to meet other people and to make new friends.
  • They find it difficult to understand what other people think, and how they feel.
6. What else is special about autism?
  • They may find co-ordination difficult. This means that they may find it difficult to do things like use scissors, use knives and forks, or ride a bike.
  • They may be very good at something. For example, they may be very good at maths, art or music.
  • They can be good at learning how to do something when they see someone else doing it.
  • They may be good at concentrating on one activity.
  • They may have learning disabilities.
  • They may have other difficulties. For example, they may have dyslexia.