Top 10+ what does autism mean

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Autism affects the way a person communicates and how they experience the world around them. It is considered a spectrum condition. While autistic people share some similar characteristics, they are also all different from each other. The autism spectrum isn’t linear from high to low but varies, just as one person might vary from another.

Some autistic people are able to live relatively independent lives but others may face additional challenges. Some autistic people have learning disabilities, which means their support needs are different.

Watch young people explain what it’s really like being autistic and how you can support autistic people.

How does autism affect people?

Autism is a hidden or invisible disability. You can’t see if someone is autistic just by looking at them and some people might not have been diagnosed when you meet them. There are some behaviours and ways of communication that an autistic person may use but these aren’t universal as every autistic person is different.

The characteristics of autism vary from one person to another, but there are four main areas of difference.

Social interaction

Autistic people may find socialising and social interactions difficult. There are lots of unwritten rules that we use when talking to someone else, and these rules aren’t always the same. Autistic people can find these rules difficult to remember or confusing because they aren’t always applied in the same way. This means autistic people often find it difficult to understand other people’s intentions and express their own feelings.

Social interactions can often be tiring for autistic people and difficulties ‘reading’ other people can lead to loneliness and isolation. Autistic people don’t lack the skills to interact with other people, they simply need more information and support to socialise with others.

Social imagination

Autistic people can find it harder to understand abstract concepts. For example, they can struggle to understand another person’s point of view – or if they know it in theory, they may still struggle to imagine what it might be.

Differences in social imagination can make it harder for autistic people to cope with new, unfamiliar or unexpected situations. As a result many autistic people like to know what is going to happen in advance and have set routines for the activities they do. They can also have routines and repetition around things they like such as clothes, food, hobbies and conversations.

Many autistic people also have intense and highly focused interests from an early age. These interests and hobbies often provide them with lots of enjoyment and can be a huge source of joy.

Social communication

When you talk to another person, you listen to what they are saying, look at the actions they make with their face and body and think of what to say in response. Autistic people find it a lot harder to interpret both spoken language and body language, which can make communication more difficult. There are so many aspects of communication to take in at once, it can sometimes be too much for an autistic person to process all of this information and also respond.

Some autistic people have little or no speech or delayed language development – or they communicate in a different way – using pictures, sounds or gestures for example. This doesn’t mean that they don’t understand what is being said, often an autistic person can take in more information than they give out, this creates a disparity in what someone understands and what they communicate.

Autistic people can take instructions very literally and struggle to understand things like sarcasm or irony.

Sensory differences

Autistic people process sensory information differently and this can impact how they interact with the environment and their ability to interact with other people.

An autistic person can be ‘under’ or ‘over’ sensitive in any of the senses – including sight, hearing and balance. This means sounds, lights, touch and smells can be painful or very uncomfortable.

To reduce discomfort, some autistic people may wear sunglasses indoors or wear ear defenders – or prefer not to be touched or only eat specific foods.

Further information and support

The Ambitious about Autism Youth Council Members describe what it’s like to be autistic in their own words.

Read our top tips for communicating effectively with autistic people.

The National Autistic Society

Contact, the charity for families with disabled children

The Council for Disabled Children

Top 17 what does autism mean edit by Top Q&A

What does it mean to be on the autism spectrum?

  • Author: geisinger.org
  • Published Date: 05/14/2022
  • Review: 4.66 (446 vote)
  • Summary: Autism is a type of neurological disorder that affects the ability to communicate and socialize. It is associated with repetitive behaviors and …
  • Matching search results: Autism is a hidden or invisible disability. You can’t see if someone is autistic just by looking at them and some people might not have been diagnosed when you meet them. There are some behaviours and ways of communication that an autistic person …

What Is Autism? – WebMD

  • Author: webmd.com
  • Published Date: 11/16/2022
  • Review: 4.56 (419 vote)
  • Summary: Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complicated condition that includes problems with communication and behavior.
  • Matching search results: Autism is a hidden or invisible disability. You can’t see if someone is autistic just by looking at them and some people might not have been diagnosed when you meet them. There are some behaviours and ways of communication that an autistic person …

Autism spectrum disorder – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

  • Author: mayoclinic.org
  • Published Date: 05/01/2022
  • Review: 4.35 (487 vote)
  • Summary: Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, …
  • Matching search results: Some children show signs of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then …

Autism Spectrum Disorders – HelpGuide.org

  • Author: helpguide.org
  • Published Date: 11/30/2022
  • Review: 4.05 (402 vote)
  • Summary: Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms. Keep in mind that just because your child has a few autism-like symptoms, it doesn’t mean they have Autism …
  • Matching search results: Some children show signs of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then …

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Mild Autism: Meaning, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

  • Author: verywellhealth.com
  • Published Date: 01/29/2022
  • Review: 3.87 (386 vote)
  • Summary: “Mild autism,” “high-functioning autism,” and “Asperger’s syndrome” are terms that generally mean the same thing: that an autistic person does …
  • Matching search results: Some children show signs of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then …

Autism – World Health Organization (WHO)

  • Author: who.int
  • Published Date: 02/04/2022
  • Review: 3.61 (532 vote)
  • Summary: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a diverse group of conditions. They are characterised by some degree of difficulty with social …
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

NIMH » Autism Spectrum Disorder – National Institute of Mental Health

  • Author: nimh.nih.gov
  • Published Date: 02/03/2022
  • Review: 3.59 (420 vote)
  • Summary: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave.
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

What is autism? – NHS

  • Author: nhs.uk
  • Published Date: 08/08/2022
  • Review: 3.22 (211 vote)
  • Summary: Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people. It’s something you’re born with.
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

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What is autism? – Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)

  • Author: autismspectrum.org.au
  • Published Date: 07/09/2022
  • Review: 3.12 (404 vote)
  • Summary: Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that impacts a person’s behaviours, communications, learning and interactions, and how they experience the world.
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

Autism Spectrum Disorder (for Kids) – Nemours KidsHealth

  • Author: kidshealth.org
  • Published Date: 11/13/2022
  • Review: 2.89 (53 vote)
  • Summary: Autism is something people are born with. No one knows exactly what causes it. It probably has something to do with a kid’s genes and other things that …
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

What Is Autism?| AsIAm.ie | Ireland’s National Autism Charity

  • Author: asiam.ie
  • Published Date: 06/18/2022
  • Review: 2.78 (166 vote)
  • Summary: In simple terms, autism is a neurological difference that many people are born with which affects how they experience the world around them and how they …
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

What it Means to Be Autistic

  • Author: autismparentingmagazine.com
  • Published Date: 08/01/2022
  • Review: 2.65 (94 vote)
  • Summary: What does being autistic really mean? … Autism is known as a spectrum disorder with symptoms and criteria that range in severity across the …
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – Cleveland Clinic

  • Author: my.clevelandclinic.org
  • Published Date: 08/20/2022
  • Review: 2.51 (102 vote)
  • Summary: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), previously known as autism, is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Signs include problems with social interaction …
  • Matching search results: It is estimated that worldwide about one in 100 children has autism(1). This estimate represents an average figure, and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. Some well-controlled studies have, however, reported figures that are …

Definition of Autism

  • Author: autismawarenesscentre.com
  • Published Date: 02/06/2022
  • Review: 2.48 (113 vote)
  • Summary: Autism is a lifelong, nonprogressive neurological disorder typically appearing before the age of three years. The word “autism” means a developmental …
  • Matching search results: According to the 2018 National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System (NASS) Report, autism now effects at least 1 in every 66 Canadian children. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become …

What Autism Means to Me

  • Author: firstpathautism.com
  • Published Date: 01/23/2022
  • Review: 2.29 (123 vote)
  • Summary: Autism means talking about our differences and our commonalities. · Autism means realizing that while some people hate and fear that which they don’t understand, …
  • Matching search results: Fast-forward to the present day, when recent government studies report an autism prevalence rate of 1 in 45 for individuals ages 3 to 17. Autism awareness has come a long way since Willie was diagnosed, but of course there’s still a lot of work to …

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

  • Author: cdc.gov
  • Published Date: 04/29/2022
  • Review: 2.23 (112 vote)
  • Summary: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known …
  • Matching search results: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes …

What is autism – National Autistic Society

  • Author: autism.org.uk
  • Published Date: 11/20/2022
  • Review: 2.2 (52 vote)
  • Summary: Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. More than one in 100 people are on the …
  • Matching search results: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes …

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