What is Autism?

what is autism

Autism is a hidden developmental disability. It affects approximately 1 in every 100 people in the United Kingdom. Secondly, It affects how a person interacts and communicates with other people. It can also affect how a person makes sense of the world surrounding them. In other words, it is just a different way for the brain to work.

Different Types of Autism

Characteristics can vary from person to person. Everyone is different. This is why it is described as a “spectrum condition.” For example, it is described as

Autism spectrum condition

Asperger Syndrome

High Functioning Autism

Common Characteristics

One characteristic is that is can affect the way a person processes sensory information. This presents in a number of ways. Firstly, a common feeling is that of overwhelm. This results in an autistic person feeling anxiety. Secondly, a range of behavioural characteristics (some repetitive) are displayed. These enable an autistic person to cope with the situation at hand. Finally, a need for structure and set routine is a common coping strategy. All autistic people have a different way to express themselves. They also have difficulty understanding other people’s emotions. They may also have difficulty expressing their own.

Some autistic people might find it fast to learn complicated things. Others have trouble doing simple things that other people take for granted like “small talk.”

Some autistic people have intense interests and passions in certain topics. On the other hand, they also might have intense fears that we find difficult to understand.


Autism is a lifelong condition with no cure. However there are many coping strategies to help an autistic person shape a fulfilled and healthy life. With these coping mechanisms, some autistic people can work, live normally. However, unfortunately, some autistic people might need much more support than others indefinitely.

Autistic people might display unique and surprising behaviour. However, it doesn’t prevent them from having interesting lives. Or from creating beautiful things.

All people, including autistic people deserve to be loved and respected. Through Empower, we also want them to be understood better.

Join our Support group on Facebook for parents and carers of children under 12 with ASD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and Tourette’s syndrome.

Join our events online

Read more about Empower here

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