Autism: theories and perspectives.
I will, in this essay, demonstrate my understanding of the key needs of people with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and will use my own experience as a support worker in Adult Services working with adults with an ASC. I will reference relevant quotes in support of my knowledge of ASC and I will concentrate on the needs of people with an ASC in relation to triad of impairments (L Wing 1996), diagnostic criteria and psychological functioning (V Cumine et al 1998). I have decided to refer to the Autism Spectrum as a condition (ASC) rather than a disorder (ASD) to follow the social rather than medical mode (Autism Act 2009). ASC can be defined as a “lifelong complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affect the way a person communicates and relates to people.” (O Bogdashina 2006) The condition is pervasive; it affects every aspect of a person’s life and being. A person with an ASC may comprehend the world in a very different way to a person who has developed typically and the world at large is designed for typically developed people. The challenge therefore is to find a way for a person with an ASC to develop and adapt to a very confusing world. “To me, the outside world is a confusing mass of sights and sounds. It is totally baffling and incomprehensible.” (Ros Blackburn 2000) Mesibov and Shea (1996) describe autism as being a “culture” and that those who work with to educate or support people with an ASC to be “cultural interpreters”; they must have an in depth knowledge of the culture of autism as well as the knowledge of the confusing typical world. Each person with an ASC is a unique individual and is as different to the next person with an ASC as you and I. The condition is shaped by their personality as well as environmental stimulus and as a support worker I consider how a world I take for granted must seem so chaotic and unpredictable for the people with ASC whom...
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