Autism Awareness Week
Article Date: 21-03-2019
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Autism can come in many forms that you may have heard of such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s and more.
According to The National Autistic Society, there are 700,000 cases of Autism across the board in the UK which translates roughly to 1 in 100 people with the disorder.
If you’re not familiar with Autism, there are many things that people take for granted in everyday life that people with Autism struggle with, such as body language and metaphors which can often be confusing – but not to everybody living with Autism.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, so whilst all forms of Autism share similarities which can overlap, everybody is different and each person’s Autism affects them in their own way. Think of it like a Venn diagram. Some people experience different symptoms to others despite having the same form of Autism and they each blend into each other.
High & Low Functioning
In a more widely used context, people tend to relate more to the phrases ‘High Functioning’ and ‘Low Functioning’ with regard to Autism. Generally speaking, if you wouldn’t really be able to ‘tell’ somebody is living with autism they would be considered high functioning.
Though it’s not always the case, people living with Asperger’s often have average to high intelligence and are classed as high functioning. Generally, they have fewer to no problems with speech but sometimes have problems understanding and processing language.
The extent of help that someone living with Autism needs varies from person to person. While some high functioning people can and do go to university and get great jobs, others need a lifetime of specialist assistance.
This means that low functioning people living with Autism face the toughest challenges that come with their disorder. According to Very Well Health, such challenges are:
- Speech and language
- Sensory dysfunction
- Cognitive challenges
- Repetitive behaviours
- Physical symptoms (such as fatigue and epilepsy)
So what’s Autism actually like?
The National Autistic Society say that because people living with Autism often have trouble making sense of things around them, they often feel that the world ‘can be a confusing mass of people, events and places.’ which can make them anxious.
It’s for this reason that events such as parties and gatherings can often be daunting for people living with autism as they don’t know who will be there, what will happen and because it tends to get noisy, their anxiety is peaked and this can end in upset. However this isn’t always the case as some people struggle with different symptoms.
Why do we need an awareness week?
You can never tell just by looking at someone if they have autism or not, not every disability or disorder is visible – that’s why we’re contributing to the Autism Awareness Week with this blog. At Estio Healthcare, we work with people who have a range of disabilities, disorders, mental health and behavioural challenges. We’re well aware of the challenges and sometimes discriminations that people with disabilities and limiting disorders come with and we’d like to show our support to them.
Not enough people are aware that autism isn’t just one big box, it’s complex, it’s challenging and it’s also very personal to each individual who lives with it every day.
If you’re struggling with Autism or know somebody who is, you can Freephone The National Autistic Society’s Autism Helpline on 0808 800 4104 today.