What is Autism

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What is Autism

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Autism is the brain being physically “wired” differently to neurotypical people this means their thought processes are different to others. https://youtu.be/iSJ9tEzgoPg

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Literally translated this means that something has gone wrong in the way the brain develops. It’s not a disease, you can’t catch it, and it is definitely not caused by vaccines.

Autistics (people with Autism) generally have difficulty with social interaction, and many have difficulty with communication – sometimes going as far not being able to speak. Many autistics also have a habitual movement called “stimming”. They find this calming, and must be allowed to stim freely.

Autism covers a wide band of behaviours so a single specific definition is not possible. Hence, in the modern world, we refer to much of Autism as “Autism spectrum disorders”.

It’s a spectrum disorder (there’s a wide range of how it manifests) but at its core it affects the ability to read social cues, communication, expressing emotions, understanding others, etc.

It also usually comes with repetitive behaviours so a person may like to stack objects, arrange things by colours, make sounds, flap their arms, etc. There are also what is known as stimming which are behaviours that help them regulate their feelings, stress, etc. Everyone, neurotypical or not, engages in some level of stimming, but people with autism generally have much more obvious ones and use them much more often. Unfortunately they can also quite often be self harming such as scratching oneself or banging their head against objects.

They usually have their favourite person who they prefer to interact with.

Changes to routines or the environment are usually quite stressful.

So for a child with autism they might be overwhelmed with stress if their teacher is away, the classroom is rearranged, there’s a fire drill when they’re supposed to be in class, a food item isn’t available, etc.

There’s usually some sort of sensory processing disorder. So things like loud noises and lights can cause distress. This may also lead to behaviours where they touch a lot of things due to how it feels. You may see some people with autism with chew necklaces. Also may involve difficulty with fine and gross motor skills due to difficulties with processing their senses.

It is a neurodevelopmental disorder. ADHD is another example of one

What that means is that your brain hassn’t developed correctly, leading to certain parts being different in a variety of ways

Basically, those with autism have different hardware. Their brains are quite literally different from yours. Think like running a PlayStation game on an Xbox

Symptoms of Autism can include:

– Issues with Communication (verbal/nonverbal)

– Emotional Dysregulation (Meltdowns/Shutdowns)

– Issues with Breaking Routine

– Issues with Eye Contact & Other Social Queues

– Hyperfocusing on Interests

They have different brains and nervous systems. They have all the same hardware, but it’s calibrated differently. A “normal” brain has all it’s volume settings for the things it does at 5. With practice or talent, they can get some parts up to 6, 7, and 8. Think athletes, scientists, soldiers, and leaders. An athlete might have their brain parts for charisma and athletic performance up in the higher numbers.

A person with autism (or ADHD) has a brain calibrated in a way that makes life difficult for them. They may have Emotional Experience at 9 but Emotional Control at 2, so they’ll suffer dramatic outbursts. Or maybe their Need for Routine is a 10 and their Adaptability is a 3, so a totally different situation from the other person with autism can cause a similar outburst due to a nervous breakdown. For a person with autism, certain situations or stimulus can cause emotional pain equivalent to a “normal” person suffering a divorce and a death in the family simultaneously.

However, this unique calibration occasionally gives autistic people astounding talents. Roughly 10% of autistic people qualify for the standards of Savantry, where they have exceptional ability in one or more areas. There have been many famous athletes, scientists, and people of other disciplines who likely would have been diagnosed with autism or ADHD. As a matter of fact, ongoing psych studies show autistic people are HEAVILY overrepresented in the current clinical science fields.

The sensory difficulties often described can be thought of in the same way. Instead of having a Sense of Touch at 5, it’s at 10, or it could be Hearing or Sight or Smell. So an odd or uncomfortable sensation for normal brains is overpowering or painful for autistic brains. And even if they have a normal or above average ability to cope, how calm would YOU be if every minute of every hour of every day was randomly interrupted with the equivalent sensations of a punch in the nose followed by an air horn in your ear?