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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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8 Summary

This week has provided an in-depth look at social and non-social characteristics of autism, and how they differ in their expression among autistic individuals. Some characteristics present difficulties or challenges for the individual and family members, while others are just unusual ways of engaging with the world and other people. Some traits, such as attention to detail, may be problematic in some situations, but highly beneficial in others. A minority of autistic people have exceptional talents, which may develop early and apparently without learning. Differences in IQ, and in the presence of accompanying problems like epilepsy, is another major source of variation across the spectrum.

You should now be able to:

  • formulate a more detailed picture of autism characteristics and the challenges they may pose for the individual and their family
  • have insights into autistic strengths, including special skills and outstanding talents
  • appreciate ways in which the profile of difficulties and strengths varies between different individuals
  • understand that the autism spectrum encompasses striking IQ differences between individuals
  • recognise the presence of accompanying problems such as epilepsy or dyslexia in some cases.

Next week considers how the characteristics of autism are used within diagnosis

Now you can go to Week 3 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .