AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDER

Autism Spectrum Disorders, sometimes called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), are a range of neurological disorders that most markedly involve some degree of difficulty with communication and interpersonal relationships, as well as obsessions and repetitive behaviours. As the term “spectrum” indicates, it is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support.

What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger syndrome describes individuals at the highest-functioning end of the autism spectrum. The term and the diagnosis was removed from the diagnostic manual in 2013, but virtually everyone in the autism community continues to use it because of its usefulness in describing a very specific group of people. People with Asperger syndrome generally develop spoken language in the same way as typically developing children, but have a tough time with social communication.

While there are similarities with autism, people with Asperger syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average, or above average, intelligence. They may have specific learning difficulties, which may include dyslexia, dyspraxia or other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy.
Asperger syndrome is mostly a ‘hidden disability’. You usually can’t tell that someone has the condition from their outward appearance. People with the condition have difficulties in three main areas. They are:

• Social communication
• Social imagination.
• Social interaction

What is High Functioning Autism?
“High functioning autism”(HFA) means “a person with relatively mild symptoms which, despite their mildness, are significant enough to merit an autism spectrum diagnosis.” But there is no formal diagnosis called “high functioning autism,” and no agreed upon definition of “high functioning.”

High functioning autism is a made-up term that is become more commonly used. It is a tricky term, because it can be hard to distinguish a person with HFA from a person with Asperger syndrome. The official distinction is that people with HFA had or have speech delays, while people with Asperger Syndrome have normal speech development. But there may also be very real differences in terms of social awareness, personality characteristics, and other traits. This is still a debateable subject.

What is Mild Autism?
The term “mild autism” is not an official diagnosis either. Generally speaking, when people use the term mild autism they are referring to individuals whose symptoms fit an autism spectrum diagnosis, but who has strong verbal skills and few behavioural issues. Those individuals may, however, have significant problems with social communication. They may also have problems coping with too much sensory input such as: loud noise, bright lights, etc.

Our autistic spectrum disorder services
Impacting Lives offer a diverse range of small staffed supported living homes or individual homes supporting people with Autism and Asperger syndrome.

We work hard to understand the individual needs of each person; building confidence, developing skills and facilitating participation in the local community.

We offer a caring and structured environment, person centred care plans builton individual strengths and needs, whilst providing structure, predictability and diverse opportunities.

To support individuals to access and benefit fully from mainstream public services, and specialist support where necessary.

Working together with other professionals, services and organisations to ensure each individual has the best resources, care and support possible.

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