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Autism can affect the way a person thinks, communicates, interacts, and experiences the world around them. Autism is referred to as a spectrum, and it affects different people in different ways.

Common Characteristics that Autistic People May Share

Differences in Communication Style

Some Autistic people might communicate verbally, some may use non-verbal methods of communication such as pictures/images or technology, and others may use their hands or body to help them communicate or express emotions.

Difficulty with Social Interactions

Some people with Autism may appear to have difficulty with reciprocal conversation or find it difficult to express or understand emotion. This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and may lead to difficulties maintaining relationships.

Sensory Processing Differences

Some Autistic people can have sensitivities which mean that they may not see, hear, or feel things in the same way as others. An overload of sensory input may lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and may cause anxiety in some people with Autism.

Repetitive Behaviour & Special Interests

Some people with Autism need and find comfort in routine. If things change unexpectedly, it can be upsetting. Some people with Autism can have interests or hobbies that can appear unusual to others and may want to know everything about a particular topic.

A Broad Spectrum

It is important to note that not all of the above points will apply to every person on the spectrum. Every person has their own set of strengths and challenges.

While some Autistic people require none or very little support in their daily lives, there are those who require significant support. There are some who have co-occurring diagnoses, disabilities, or other significant care requirements. There are people with Autism who may not be able to enter the working world, may be non-verbal, may be unable to advocate for themselves, and/or may require full time residential services.

Every Autistic person is unique, should be respected, and should receive a level of support appropriate to their individual needs – in all aspects of life.