What is Autism and an Autistic Spectrum Condition?
Autistic Spectrum Condition is a developmental disorder, affecting less than 0.1% of the population, it is much more common in men. It affects how a person communicates with and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. The prevalence has increased over recent years which may be due to increased awareness across professionals or a genuine increase in the condition.
What is Autism?
Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that people living with autism can share certain difficulties but their condition will affect each individual in a different way. Some people with autism may also be living with learning disabilities and therefore need a lifetime of specialist support, which can be provided by specialist care settings, such as Danshell Autism Services. The main symptoms of Autism that all people on the spectrum share are:
Autism is part of a range of conditions often referred to as Autistic Spectrum Conditions. Aspergers Syndrome is part of that spectrum. People with Aspergers have relatively normal verbal speech and range of intelligence. Some people with Autism may have gifted talents, for example in:
The diagnosis is a clinical one with no blood tests or scans to confirm the diagnosis, however, assessment tests, for example, Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) are available. The assessment tests may be extremely useful in cases where one or more other mental disorders are present, e.g.
- Learning Disabilities
- Personality Disorder
- Drug/Alcohol problems.
Some people with autism and challenging behavious are supported in a hospital or a care home setting specialising in Autism Services. The main principles are behaviour management using positive behaviour support (PBS), provided by a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). The assessment of communication and communication passport are also very important. Some individuals have sensory needs which following assessment can result in a sensory diet being part of their individual support.
Family contact is essential for both the service users and relatives; we facilitate this through visits, phone calls and Skype.