Autism is a lifelong condition which affects the way a person communicates and how they relate to people and the world around them.
Having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (sometimes referred to as ASD) is reasonably common, with 1/100 people diagnosed with the condition. Autism, being a spectrum disorder, means that while all people with autism share certain features, their condition will affect them in different ways and to different degrees.
There are four areas of difference that are particularly important to understand and pay attention to.
- Relating to others - People with Autism will have individual and differing needs, these may include differences in understanding social interactive style and the emotional expression of others
- Communication - The understanding and using of communication and language both verbal and non-verbal
- Managing Life - Differences in how information is processed in relation to planning, prediction and personal memory and differences in the way sensory information is processed
- Strengths and Differences - People with Autism will have an uneven profile of abilities, meaning strengths and difficulties differ from person to person
It should not be assumed what a person with Autism can or cannot do. Instead, the focus should be upon their strengths and interests and it is important to remember that Autism is a neurological difference, not a deficit.
Swindon's Clinical Commissioning Group are working closely with the Great Western Hospital on reducing the waiting times for ASD diagnosis.
We are working closely with Swindon SEND Families Voice (SSFV) to create a better pathway.
If you suspect that your child may be on the autistic spectrum there is help and support available. Whilst waiting for diagnosis, additional support can help improve outcomes for families, regardless of the outcome of the diagnosis.