Autism spectrum condition affects a range of different individuals and is a spectrum condition and affects people in a number of different ways. It is important when supporting an individual with autism to identify and recognise each individuals’ abilities – what they can do successfully, needs – what the individual needs support with, strengths and gifts – what the individual is good at, what they have a real talent in, and interests – what is motivating for the person.
Autism has a range of diagnostic criteria. This was described by Wing and Gould (1979) as the Triad of Impairments. The triad consists of: * Problems with social interactions * Difficulties understanding and using non-verbal communications * Stands to close to people * Unaware of different ways to interact with people * Difficulties initiating and maintaining conversations * Inappropriate touching * Problems with communication * Asks repetitive questions. * Absence of desire to communicate. * Communicates for own needs, rather than social engagement * Own interest based. * May be non-verbal, or delayed speech. * Problems with imagination * Does not understand other people’s thoughts or feelings – lack of Theory of Mind * Does not like change in routines. * Special or focussed interests. * Literal thinking.
In additional to the three areas of the triad there are also associated difficulties. These include: * Sensory difficulties * This may include hypersensitivities (over-sensitive) or hyposensitivities (under-sensitive). * Mood disturbances – linked to the triad: * Anxiety * Aggression * Depression
As there is an array of criteria within the triad of impairments and associated