Autism is an increasingly common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can be daunting to try and understand how it affects those living with it and how best to support them in their day-to-day lives. But understanding autism is an important step towards creating a more inclusive society where everyone can be accepted and respected for who they are.

We have seen a rise in awareness relating to autism sufferers and in part thanks to television shows like the series currently on the BBC by Chris Packham: Inside our autistic minds, we are being shown what it can feel like to have autism in its many a varied forms.

In the thought-provoking show, Chris takes us into the lives of four fellow sufferers (Flo, Murray, Anton and Ethan) and examines how they are attempting to cope with their varied autistic traits. As a person with Asperger’s, Chris opens up and displays the empathy that allows us to at least try to imagine how it must be on an everyday basis.

In his program he is trying to dispel the myths and conjecture and promote neurodiversity; the aim is to educate all of us to understand what major differences each autistic person has. The show gives great comprehension into their lives and how they struggle, and the episodes are in-depth interviews and insights as they tell us their story.

Each contributor produces a video which they showcase to their friends and family to try and visually highlight their adversity with masking, being non-verbal, hypersensitivity to sound, and battles with control and change. It’s essential viewing and very moving, and we are honoured to be allowed in sharing such a vulnerable and raw honest moment in their lives. The loving acceptance by their audience is exactly the yard-stick we should all follow.

We were so moved by it we wanted to help highlight autism and provide practical advice on how to support those living with this condition. It will also discuss the need for greater awareness and acceptance among society as a whole, so that those living with autism can become more comfortable in their own skin.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive and interact with the world around them. It’s a spectrum disorder, which means it affects each person differently. Autistic people may have difficulty with social interaction, communication, and sensory processing amongst other affects. Understanding the autistic spectrum can help us better understand autism in children and adults in our lives.

When it comes to understanding autism, there are some key differences to keep in mind. Sufferers often find it hard to communicate their thoughts and feelings to those around them, so they may struggle to make friends or form social relationships. They can also have difficulty interpreting sensory information such as sounds or lights.

Being on the spectrum does not mean a constant autistic meltdown, and it’s important to establish that autistic children may display difficulties in socialising and anxiety at school and not be considered SEN in school. Understanding these challenges can help us support autists in our lives more effectively.

Types Of Autism

There are several different types of autism, known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is not a single neurodevelopmental condition but rather a group of related disorders with key features. It is important to note that each person with autism has unique abilities and needs, so no two people with autism are exactly alike. Here are five key aspects of ASD where:

  • Autistic people have difficulty in communication, social interaction and restricted interests or behaviour patterns
  • Autistic people process sensory information differently than other people
  • Autistic people find it difficult to adapt to changes in routine or environment
  • Autistic people experience anxiety or depression (70% of adults and children with autism will have at least one mental illness condition like depression, anxiety, or ADHD)
  • Autistic people have learning disabilities associated with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

To gain a better understanding about autism, there are many resources available including free courses which can help develop an understanding of the condition. These courses can help identify the signs and symptoms of autism as well as provide knowledge on how best to support autistic individuals and families. With this understanding, we can better meet the needs of those affected by this lifelong disability.

Autism acronym. Always unique totally intelligent sometimes mysterious
We are understanding autism with more research and a openness to understand

Signs And Symptoms Of Autism

No two people with autism are the same, which is why it’s so important to understand what signs and symptoms to look out for. These can include difficulty communicating and interacting with others, not responding to their name, difficulty understanding other people’s emotions or facial expressions, difficulty forming relationships and in some more severe case, repetitive behaviours such as hand flapping or rocking back and forth.

Many autistic people have an issue with eye contact when attempting to communicate with people. Sufferers have described a lack of confidence in themselves as one of the main reasons that eye contact is such an issue. In the programme, it covered specific traits and how sufferers can hide it. Chris Packham himself opens up on his difficulties being in social environments, and many of the traits highlighted should get an empathetic nod from anyone who has felt overwhelmed in their lives.

If you are worried about someone in your life showing any of these signs, you can visit the National Autistic Society for further information on what to do next. They provide support for those living with the condition and advice for family members looking to create better lives for them. And of course

Diagnosis Of Autism

Diagnosing autism is a complex process. As such, it’s important to have continuing professional development to ensure that the diagnosis is correct.

When diagnosing autism, clinicians will look for signs and specific trigger behaviours. They may also ask questions about the individual’s social interactions or communication skills. To provide evidence of an autism diagnosis, developmental monitoring may be used to track behaviour over time or The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) method.

Here are 5 key points when considering diagnosis of autism:

  • Autism is a lifelong condition, so understanding the individual’s needs is crucial
  • Professional development should be undertaken by clinicians to ensure correct diagnosis
  • Signs such as hand flapping or other repetitive behaviours may indicate autism
  • Developmental monitoring can be used to provide evidence for an autism diagnosis
  • Every person with autism is different and should be treated as an individual

Causes Of Autism

The causes of autism are complex and diverse but still need to be better understood. Here are five factors that may contribute to the development of autism:

  • Genetics: Autism tends to run in families, meaning it’s likely to be passed down genetically.
  • Environment: Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins or chemicals may play a role in the development of autism.
  • Brain Development: Abnormal development or structure of certain parts of the brain has been linked to autism.
  • Immunological Issues: Research suggests that immunological issues may be linked to autism, such as problems with the immune system or inflammation.
  • Nutritional Deficiency: Nutrient deficiencies have been shown to increase the risk of developing autism.

Of course, there is no one definitive answer for what causes autism, so understanding this disorder requires further exploration and research. It is important for those seeking certification in this field, as well as those simply looking for more information on these conditions, to understand all aspects related to its possible causes – from genetic factors to environmental elements – so they can help diagnose and support people with autism effectively.

Young boy sat facing wall on his own
Autism creates issues with communication for so many

Communication Challenges For Individuals With Autism

One factor to remember that those with autism communicate differently from neurotypical individuals. They may not interpret or express language in the same way as others, and often need extra time for processing information. To ensure understanding, it is essential for those around them to demonstrate patience and compassion when communicating with them.

For individuals with autism, communication isn’t always easy or straightforward – but there are ways of making it more effective. By taking the time to learn about autism and its associated challenges, we can help create a supportive environment where everyone feels included and understood.

Social Challenges For Individuals With Autism

Individuals with autism experience lifelong developmental disability. It can be challenging for them to communicate with the world around them. This affects how they interact and experiences life. Autism can make it more difficult to build relationships and form meaningful connections with those around them.

Social challenges are a common issue for individuals with autism, making it hard to build relationships and find acceptance from their peers. They may struggle to understand social cues, body language, and facial expressions, which can lead to feelings of isolation or anxiety in social situations.

To help individuals on the spectrum navigate these issues, there are CPD-certified experts  who offer services that specialize in helping people with autism develop strong social skills.

By equipping themselves with the right resources, individuals on the spectrum can learn how to become better communicators, strengthen relationships, and improve their overall quality of life. With proper guidance and support, those living with autism have the opportunity to reach their full potential and live a successful life in today’s world.

Mental Health Challenges For Individuals With Autism

Mental health issues can be difficult for individuals with autism to process and manage, as often, sufferers may struggle to understand their own emotions and react appropriately when faced with unfamiliar situations. This can often lead to frustration and confusion, leaving some feeling overwhelmed and isolated from their peers.

The lack of resources for those living with autism makes matters worse, as it can be hard for them to access support when needed. Mental health challenges become even more complex when compounded by physical or cognitive impairments too.

Therefore, it is essential for those with knowledge on ASD to stay up-to-date on the latest research and interventions so they can best serve those affected by the disorder.

It is estimated that 70% of adults and children with autism will have at least one mental illness condition like depression, anxiety, or ADHD. If one condition is leading to another it makes coping with autism ever harder for those individuals.

In a recent study it was discovered that autistic women are 8 times more likely to commit suicide  than their male counterparts and this is a worrying figure as less women are historically being correctly diagnosed with autism than men.

An autistic child being treated by carer giving a high five
Treatment is helping us understand autism more than ever

Treatments For Autism

Certified professionals provide counselling and therapies tailored to individual needs. Treatment plans may include applied behaviour analysis, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. These treatments are designed to help individuals develop skills needed for daily life and communication.

Treatments for autism aim to improve the quality of life of those affected by the disorder. They focus on learning skills such as problem-solving and managing emotions, so that they can better navigate their environment and experience the world in a meaningful way. This can lead to greater independence, improved relationships, better communication, and an overall increase in understanding of self and others.

It is vital for those with autism to have access to support systems that enable them to live as independently as possible. Treatments play a critical role in helping people with autism reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

Education And Support For Individuals With Autism

Education is key for individuals with autism, as it helps them to understand their environment and develop the skills needed to function. It’s also essential for their overall wellbeing, as it teaches individuals how to interact socially and build relationships.

Support is equally important for individuals with autism. It provides each individual with a network of people who understand their condition and can provide advice, guidance and assistance when needed. This includes access to services like speech therapy, occupational therapy, counselling and more.

In addition to these two key elements, there are other ways that individuals with autism can be supported:

  • Professional Resources: These include resources from healthcare professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists or social workers who can provide further assessment or ongoing treatment strategies for children or adults on the spectrum.
  • Community Resources: Organizations such as local Autism Societies offer support groups, educational activities, information sessions and other programs designed specifically for individuals on the autism spectrum.
  • Technology Resources: In recent years technology has become an increasingly accessible resource for those on the spectrum; from communication devices like iPads to apps designed specifically for individuals with autism – technology can make a big difference in helping those on the spectrum cope better in everyday life.

Resources For Families Impacted By Autism

Families impacted by autism are often faced with unique challenges. As such, finding helpful resources can be tricky. Here is a brief list of items families could investigate:

1) Connecting with other families in similar situations who can offer helpful advice and support

2) Local organizations and support groups that provide guidance through various stages of development

3) Educational materials for both parents and children to help understand the condition better.

These resources also provide information on therapies and activities that can promote physical, emotional, and social growth. With the right tools in place, families impacted by autism can have a better chance at achieving success in all aspects of life.

Autism Awareness Week is 27th March - 2nd April 2023
Autism Awareness Week is 27th March – 2nd April 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

How Common Is Autism?

There are varying estimates of the amount of people who have autism, with some sources indicating 1 in 68 children have an autism spectrum condition. No matter the exact percentage, it’s clear that autism is far from rare. Here are five facts about the number of people with autism:

  • Around 700,000 people in the UK alone have an autism spectrum disorder
  • In 2014, an estimated 1 in 100 children were identified as having autism
  • Prevalence has increased by more than 119% since 2000
  • Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups

How Can I Help My Child Manage Their Autism?

  1. Educate yourself on autism and its challenges. Learning about autism will help you better understand your child’s needs, behaviours and communication styles. With this knowledge, you can better respond to their needs and help them thrive at their own pace.
  2. Talk openly with your child about their diagnosis and how it affects them. Communication is essential for understanding how your child feels about their condition and how they want to be supported in managing it.
  3. Connect with other parents of children with autism for emotional support. Having a community of parents who understand what your family is going through can be invaluable as you navigate life with an autistic child. It’s also a great way to share resources, tips and ideas to help manage any issues or challenges that may arise.
  4. Seek out professional advice from therapists or doctors specializing in autism-related issues if necessary. Doing so can provide additional guidance on ways to best support your child’s specific needs, as well as direct access to resources or therapies tailored specifically to individuals on the spectrum.

Are There Any Support Services Available For Adults With Autism?

Adults with autism can find community through online forums or local meet-up groups too. This sense of belonging and understanding can be invaluable in helping adults thrive despite the challenges they face. Whether it’s physical or emotional support, services are available to make life easier for those living with autism each day.


Autism is an increasingly common disorder that affects people of all ages. It can be difficult to understand and manage, but with support from family, friends and organizations, individuals living with autism can lead healthy and successful lives.

It is important to remember that everyone’s experience of autism is unique. Each individual needs different levels of support and understanding in order to reach their full potential. By providing a safe space for communication and understanding, we can help those living with autism achieve their dreams.

It’s also essential to recognize the invaluable contributions autistic individuals bring to our society as a whole, and to create an inclusive environment where they can thrive. With patience, compassion, and knowledge, we can better understand autism and ensure that everyone has access to the resources they need for success.

No matter which approaches you take, the key is finding what works best for both you and your child when it comes to managing their autism – whether that includes educational resources, open dialogue or professional assistance – it all starts with understanding how best to support them in living a full life despite any challenges they may face due to their condition.