What is autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that means people with it may act differently to other people. The NHS website explains what this may mean for people, and those supporting them. For example, they may: –
- find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
- find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
- find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
- get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
- take longer to understand information
- do or think the same things over and over
Autism is a spectrum, i.e. it is measured on a scale. What this means is that everybody with autism is different and can need little or no support, right up to needing 24 hour care. It can also be known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) , there are three distinct levels of ASD, the most recent definition of autism describes people as having a severity level between one, two, or three, based on how much support they need.
What is it like to be a parent or a friend of someone with autism?
This is different for everybody and here, we will not try to describe it. Instead, we have included a poem written by a mother whose 10 year old son has autism. Here, she tries to explain her experience through her son’s eyes, and it is very moving and insightful.
Raising Awareness of Autism - Poem by Donna King
Help I need support, I wish I could say to you
A gentle voice a guiding hand, and understand me too..
Help I need support,
I don’t understand the task,
It’s hard to communicate, so it’s easier to mask
With a different learning style, from others in the room.
I want to fit and be liked, but the room is loud in volume
I am sensitive to my surroundings, sight, sound and touch,
everything around me stimulates too much.
When something has upset me, it’s hard to regulate
I’ll become anxious, repetitive, and stimming, I need supporting before It’s too late.
Oh no, your now annoyed, as you raise your voice at me, I am giving nonverbal clues, why can you not see.
I’m overwhelmed, I’ve lost control, I’ve hit the extreme You see the behaviour, but I wish you would see me.
Some days I just can’t move, you see I’m shutting down, You still don’t understand me, I still see that cross frown.
I struggle to communicate, I internalise the mess,
I need a quiet peaceful space, so I can recharge and rest.
Do this, do that, demands I hear all day
No time to process, no time to play
Please Ask, please Accept, Help me Develop my way.
I will learn, if you give me time each day.
Want to know more about autism?
For further information, please visit the NHS site: What Is Autism?
To find out about more about our long term care services, please follow the link: