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Autism & Related Conditions

Autism & Related Conditions

What is it?

Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how someone communicates with and relates to other people. It is on a spectrum, which means that some people are more affected than others.

The main areas of difficulty are:

  • Communicating with others- sometimes problems with reading body language, understanding jokes and facial expressions
  • Interacting with others- finding it hard to understand how others feel and expressing your own feelings
  • Imagination- difficulties with understanding and making sense of other people’s thoughts and feelings and predicting what will happen next.

People with autism prefer familiar routines and have special interests in certain things. It is common for people with Autism to also experience mental health difficulties, including anxiety and depression.

What might help?

  • If you or your parent/carer feel you may have Autism. Visit your GP to discuss a referral so that you can be assessed. If you already have a diagnosis, sometimes you might require specialist help, particularly if you experience mental health difficulties too.
  • Thinking about sensory needs. Young people with Autism are often over sensitive or under- sensitive to different things, such as noise, taste and textures. For example, some young people struggle with noise and ear defenders help.
  • Understanding Autism. It’s helpful for family and the young person to understand their difficulties and then to think about different things that might help. Some parents/carers find it  helpful to attend Support groups.
  • Finding ways to relax. Often people with autism experience anxiety too. Learning types of relaxation can help to relieve stress.

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