Autism is a condition that affects how people see and interact with the world. It is a disability, NOT a disease or an illness. It stays with you, your entire life.
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There is no clear answer to what actually causes autism but it has clearly been disproven that vaccines such as MMR and Refrigerator Parents (bad parenting) are causes of autism.

There are 700,000 people in the UK who have Autism, both children and adults.

This means that 1 in 10 people living in the UK are autistic.

Autism is 3x more likely to be diagnosed in boys than in girls.
Girls tend to be better at socially masking (hiding) their autism when interacting with people, this means that girls will appear normal when you first meet them and if you don’t know them enough personally you can easily miss their autistic traits.
Autism is often called Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Condition (ASD or ASC). It is described as a spectrum because there is no single set of symptoms that affect all people with the condition.

Every individual with autism can be affected by a certain symptom differently such as: there are those who can't stand any form of loud noise at all but there are others who are only affected by certain loud noises.

Although, every autistic person is affected by symptoms differently, the symptoms all fall around three categories known as the "Triad of Impairments".
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Autistic people are impaired by Social Interaction as they:

  • Have no mental filter meaning they will say exactly what is on their minds whether appropriate or not
  • Tend to prefer being alone rather than participate in group activities
  • Struggle to understand their own or other people's thoughts, emotions and facial expressions
  • Are more sensitive to bright lights, loud noises and being touched
  • Find it difficult to develop friendships and relationships

Autistic people are impaired by Social Communication as they:

  • Take longer to develop speech in childhood
  • Struggle to express their own needs and feelings
  • May be non-verbal or speak very little
  • Find it difficult to start or hold a conversation
  • May talk more about their own interests than having a two way conversation

Autistic people are impaired by Social Imagination and Flexible Thinking as they:

  • Take everything literally and struggle to think creatively
  • Prefer to have a routine and dislike alterations made to it
  • Are unable to cope with big changes and anything unknown to them
  • Will have an obesssive interest which they can focus on for a long period of time
  • Have repetitive behaviours and are obsessed with sameness

Asperger's Syndrome refers to those who have a milder form of autism meaning that these people will only have milder symptom such as having normal speech development in childhood, being able to socialise easier and are able to function more independently in society.

This has lead to the term "High-Functioning" as a way to describe people with Asperger's Syndrome, a term aspies hate.
High-Functioning tells us that people on the autistic spectrum is a straight line where people are either on the high end or low end of the spectrum whereas the autism spectrum is actually more like a wheel of traits much like this:

There is no known cure for Autism but there are strategies for living with it. Aspie Heroes offers strategies and resources to those with autism or those who associate with those who have autism. You can find them here: Click Here to visit Aspie Heroes Explore page