Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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Understanding autism

1 Autism: what have you learned?

Now try the following activity.

Activity 1 Reflect on what you have learned

Allow about 10 minutes

Use the space below to note key things that you have learned about autism so far in the course. You might want to check back to the notes you made for the same exercise in Week 1, Activity 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . In what ways has your understanding changed most? What do you consider to be the most important insights you have gained?

It is thought that Autism is caused by a hereditory brain complication. It can mean different things for different people, but manifests in social situations, eg an inability to conform to social expectations. It can mean people cannot express themselves effectively and often results in their expression of frustration-eg high expressed emotion-shouting, crying, kicking. High performing autistic children frequently seem to lack confidence perhaps because of their low expectations of themselves, by themselves and others, and it can be caused by people over protecting them, not being patient and encouraging enough of them and ultimately allowing them to develop in an unconventional manner. This leads them to acatch 22 situation, and consequent depression.
People with autism can have episodes of anxiety triggered by over stimulation - of their senses -visual, auditory, scent, touch. As they cannot always communicate what has upset them it can be very upsetting and bewildering for families.
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Here are some key points you may have noted:

Understanding autism should have helped you to gain a wider knowledge of what autism is, and how it affects children and adults across the lifespan. You have learned how the concept of autism has changed, and with it the tools used to diagnose it. You have considered how the impact and experience of autism varies between individuals, and how perceptions of autism may be affected by cultural context. You have looked at explanations of the causes of autism, and at the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches to intervention and support. You have considered how autism may affect families, and looked at the particular challenges of adulthood. You have also learned that autistic people have strengths and skills, and need scope to fulfil their potential.

Now we will reflect further on some key themes, ongoing issues and implications for the future.


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