Autism is a developmental disability affecting a person’s interaction with others and how he or she makes sense of the world. The word “spectrum” is used because although affected people have some common difficulties, the condition can vary widely between different individuals. The term “on the autistic spectrum” is often used to describe these individuals. The clinical diagnosis is “autistic spectrum disorder”.
Some people with autism can lead independent lives, but others may have extreme difficulty in communicating, or indeed may not have any speech at all. Another effect can be sensitivity to sounds, taste, touch, smells or light and colour.
Another condition on the autism spectrum is Asperger’s syndrome. People with this disorder are often able to communicate better than people with classic autism, but hearing someone speaking, for example, may sound like a foreign language.
There are many myths about autism, such as the notion that everyone with the condition is like the main character in the movie “Rain Man”, with special talents in memory. People with autism are not “mentally disabled”. Nor is bad parenting a “cause.” Another myth is the idea that people with autism are not capable of empathy or affection. They may have trouble expressing affection in a traditional way, but that doesn’t mean it’s not heartfelt.
Further information about how the Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability considered this condition can be found here.
Other information about this condition can be found at:–
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) | nidirect
About Autism – AsIAm.ie – Ireland’s National Autism Charity