Autistic Spectrum Conditions

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Unit 44: Understand How to Support Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Conditions

1: Understand the main characteristics of Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC)

Each person with an ASC has their own individual abilities, strengths, gifts, needs and interests that can vary greatly from one person to the next. Due to the multifarious conditions attached to the autistic spectrum, and according to the degree of the ASC it is important to recognise the characteristics of an individual to determine the areas in which they excel and the areas where they may need extra support; i.e. Some service users may lack the ability to verbally communicate but may communicate well through other mediums such as picture and symbol exchange where as others may be competently verbal but may have trouble understanding abstract concepts or the use of socially acceptable language.

Individuals have their own idiosyncrasies, interests and abilities. However, a person will be diagnosed as having an ASC if, to a greater or lesser degree, they show some of a range of typical characteristics. There are three main areas where people with an ASC often experience difficulties. These areas are; social communication, social imagination and social interaction. These three areas combine to form the ‘Triad of Impairments’. Social Communication:

An individual who has impaired social communication will not be able to, or will find it difficult, to ‘read between the lines’ in a conversation; e.g. not understand abstract concepts such as sarcasm, implied comedy and if someone stated that something was so funny they ‘laughed their head off’, a person with ASC may take this literally. An individual may also
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