What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition. This means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Many of the people Pepenbury supports are on the autistic spectrum as well as having a learning disability. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over sensitivity or under sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

For more information about the autism service we offer see  Autism Services

What is Asperger syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties understanding and processing language.

How do people with autism see the world?

People with autism have said that the world, as they perceive it, is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of and which can cause them considerable anxiety. Understanding and relating to other people and taking part in everyday family and social life may be particularly difficult for them.

What are the main difficulties experienced?

The three main areas which all people with autism share are difficulty with social communication, social interaction and social imagination. However their condition will affect them in very different ways. Some are able to live relatively everyday lives while others will require a lifetime of specialist support.

Difficulties with language

People with autism have difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal language. Many have a very literal understanding of language and think people always mean exactly what they say. They can find it difficult to use or understand facial expressions or tone of voice, jokes and sarcasm and common phrases and sayings.

Difficulties with emotions and feelings

People with autism often have difficulty expressing their own emotions and feelings and recognising or understanding those of other people. This can make it more difficult for them to fit in socially.

Difficulties with social interaction

Some people with autism find it hard to form friendships. They may want to interact with other people and make friends but are unsure how to go about this.


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