What is Autism?

Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have three main characteristics which classify someone as having what is more generally referred to as Autism. The three characteristics are impairments in imagination, social communication and social interaction, plus a strong tendency towards repetitive behaviour, although you may observe unusual behaviour.

Impairment in social relationships/skills/interaction:

  • Lack of understanding others feelings & emotions
  • Very poor at interpreting other peoples facial expressions and body language
  • May appear aloof, stilted, rude, aggressive, forthright, shy, thoughtless, immature &/or act inappropriately in social interaction situations and consequently fail to form ‘real’ lasting friendships.

Impaired Imagination: is an inability to imagine things, which have not already been experienced, for example:

  • New or different situations can be unimaginable.
  • Changes in routine are frightening/disorientating without the ability to imagine an alternative order of events. Perhaps this explains some or all repetitive behaviour?
  • An person with autism may not appreciate that other people have their own thoughts, perspectives, plans etc.

Communication problems – difficulty with expressing themselves verbally and in written form and difficulty understanding others on some levels of communication which, for example, may manifest itself as:

  • A literal understanding of language. Idioms can be nonsensical – “its raining cats and dogs” would cause the person with ASD to think cats and dogs might fall from the sky.
  • “Don’t do that”. A person with autism may not know what ‘that’ is referring to.
  • People who have autism may have the same emotions as everybody else – but are not as able to express them in a way that is easily understood, partly because they may fail to realise that language is one way of doing this.
  • They may talk to somebody without taking any notice of that person.

How can SLT Online help?

Although there is no known cure for Autism there are ways to help manage the symptoms. Julie Andrews, a highly qualified speech and language therapist, offers help and advice to all her clients and their families. Working in the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Market Harborough area, Julie is able to treat children and adults of all ages with Autism.

To arrange a consultation or assessment with Julie please visit the appointments page. If you require any further information on Autism and the help that Julie can provide for autistic children, please visit the contact page and complete the on-line form.