“For the month of May, Defying Shadows will be joining the Mental Health Awareness Month by sharing a post daily on a different type of Mental Illness or “Shadow” that people commonly struggle with. Join us in creating awareness and working to end the stigma that goes with these topics! Today we have Alex Newton sharing on Autism. ~ Defying Shadows Team.”
Autism is a developmental disability that affects how a person interacts with others and how they perceive the world around them. Like any other illness/disability, those with the same diagnosis and that have the same symptoms often affect each of them differently. Some of those with autism can live relatively independent – with minimal assistance – while others require a lifetime of specialized support.
Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism and usually have average or above average intelligence – they usually have fewer problems with speech but still have difficulties with processing and understanding language.
There are three main areas of difficulty with people who have autism, known as the ‘triad of impairment’:
- Difficulty with social communication
- Difficulty with social interaction
- Difficulty with social imagination
Here are some facts, myths,and stats about Autism:
- Over 40% of children that have autism have been bullied at school.
- One in five children have been excluded from school, many more than once.
- At least one in three adults with autism are experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support.
- Although autism is incurable, the right support at the right time can can make an enormous difference to people’s lives.
- Some people with autism may develop fascinations or special interests (Autism Fact)
- People w/ autism who find social interaction difficult may use their special interests to start conversations & feel relaxed (Autism Fact)
- Special interests may provide structure & predictability to people w/ autism, helping them cope with uncertainties of daily life (Autism Fact)
- After being supported through school, people with autism instantly adapt to adult life (Autism Myth)
- People with autism no longer require support once they leave school (Autism Myth)
The most important note to remember is not to wait for a diagnosis, go see your doctor/specialist right away.
For more information, go to: http://www.autism.org.uk/
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.