The signs and symptoms of autism, a lifelong developmental disorder, are extremely varied along the spectrum, with each individual having a unique experience. There are numerous potential expressions within the emotional, learning, cognitive and behavioural areas, so here’s a look at how they may manifest and the ways of coping with autism.
It’s estimated that around 1 in 100 people has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the UK. With overlapping symptoms and a scale of autism that includes Asperger’s, diagnosis in some cases can be more difficult and requires a multi-disciplinary team to make a formal diagnosis. On the spectrum, individuals have varying difficulties and hence require different levels and types of support. Autistic individuals see and experience the world in a different way to others; it’s a part of who they are and not any kind of disease.
Emotions and Intelligence
Those with autism may have an above-average IQ and intelligence alongside what appears to be a lack of empathy or response within social interactions. Anxiety and depression are often featured, as are sudden emotional outbursts which may come across as being aggressive or disruptive. In addition, autistic individuals can be very focused on, and dedicated to, certain interests.
Many adults may face additional medical issues alongside autism, such as seizures and sleep disorders. It’s also common for people to experience either greater or reduced sensitivity to sensory input, such as to sound and temperatures. The best autism services in London will be equipped to support individuals physically, socially and emotionally, whether in residential homes or supported living.
Communication and Behaviour
Autistic individuals often display repetitive behaviour that seems unusual or inappropriate to others and difficulties with social interaction and communication. They may not understand or use the likes of sarcasm, facial expressions, tone of voice or jokes, and they can struggle to grasp the typical expectations of a conversation. This results in many children often playing alone and adults finding social experiences to be challenging. Difficulties are often found with body language, eye contact and facial expressions. Learning disabilities may be seen in those with autism or Asperger’s, as well as a delay in language development and unusual or incorrect sentence formation in verbal and written communications.
Coping with Autism
Coping with autism can be a challenge, but there are excellent autism services in London to support and empower individuals to live their lives. Individuals can be encouraged through residential or supported living services to fulfil their potential by working on behavioural patterns, communication issues, social interaction and other symptoms that they find problematic or difficult to manage. Such services can offer therapeutic interventions and activities to enable autistic individuals to grow and adapt while appreciating their individual and complex needs. Staff that are dedicated, specialised and compassionate can support and nurture individuals in gaining the confidence and skills they need to pursue and engage in the interests they have and the lives they wish to lead independently.