What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong neurological condition which affects social interaction and communication and can also be characterised by restricted and repetitive behaviour. The NHS estimate that approximately 1 in every 100 people in the UK is autistic. Autistic people may be given a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Aspergers. More men than women are diagnosed with autism. This is thought to be partly because women present differently with the condition differently than men and unfortunately women are often mis or under diagnosed.
Every autistic person/child is different and the characteristics can vary widely as it is a spectrum disorder but there are two main diagnostic characteristics;
1.) Difficulties with social communication and interaction.
2.) Repetitive behaviour and body movements and behaviour restricted by routine/fixed activities.
If you have any concerns that your child may be autistic the first port of call is your GP or health visitor. They should carry out assessments and refer you to a psychologist for diagnosis if appropriate.