Things you Should Know about Autism
You may have heard people mention adults or children who are “on the autistic spectrum”, but what does this actually mean? In short, autism is a developmental condition that can manifest itself in many different ways: learning disabilities, mental health issues, a failure to understand and relate to the environment, and difficulties with communication, among others. You can read more about what autism is in our blog post here.
Autism can often be hard for those who aren’t affected by the condition to understand. Here, we share some lesser known facts about autism, as well as some famous people you may be surprised to learn made a name for themselves despite an autism diagnosis.
Things you may not know about autism
While some autistic people may benefit from behavioural therapies to help them cope, there is actually no cure for autism.
Autism is a developmental brain condition, which is present from birth. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always diagnosed early: it’s quite common for children not to receive a diagnosis until they are older – and there are even cases of autism not being diagnosed until early adulthood.
Autism is more common amongst those whose mothers are aged over 35, or whose fathers are aged over 40.
Did you know that Aspergers is autism? It’s a condition that falls on the autistic spectrum, along with Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Autism can make communication and perceptions of the world tricky, but those who are autistic tend to have a greater focus on the things they enjoy. You’ll often find that autistic people are incredibly good at something, which could be anything from having an extensive vocabulary, to being a whizz at mental arithmetic.
There isn’t a blood test that can give an autism diagnosis: instead, doctors use a series of behavioural tests to understand whether a person is autistic and, if so, where on the spectrum they fall.
Communication can be a struggle – and a perceived failure to understand them can lead to a great deal of frustration. If you know someone who is autistic, or who’s awaiting a diagnosis, reading up on the condition to gain even a basic understanding can make the world of difference.
Famous autism diagnoses
Autism may be debilitating in a number of ways, but it doesn’t have to get in the way of a happy and fulfilled life. There’s a huge number of famous names who you may be surprised to learn are or were on the autistic spectrum.
Talented 80s actress Daryl Hannah was diagnosed with Aspergers as a child, and Sir Anthony Hopkins has the same condition, describing himself as someone who doesn’t like to go to parties, and who doesn’t have many friends.
Scientist Charles Darwin was believed to be autistic, while composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, scientist Albert Einstein and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick all prove that autism need not get in the way of great success and a truly fulfilled life.
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