What is Autism ?

1.What Is Autism?
What is autism? Good question! The medical definition is that autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with other people and how they experience the world around them. However autism is so much more than that.

2.Signs Of Autism
It’s true as the saying goes ‘no two people with autism are the same’. Autistic people may often share similar characteristics such as hand flapping. They may also cover their ears when they have a sensory overload. Often children walk on tip toes and most autistic people engage in repetitive behaviour or sounds. However there are a lot more characteristics that make each individual with autism special and unique.

3.Red Flag Signs
I knew Mason was different when he was around 12 months old. He didn’t point to objects or people out of interest by his first year review. To this day he still doesn’t point at 2.5 years old. He didn’t wave bye bye to people or clap to applaud anything. I requested a review with his Health Visitor when he was 18 months old because I was becoming concerned as he wasn’t saying any words or understanding much either. He wasn’t hitting milestones as he should be. She referred us to a speech therapist who deals with children who are autistic, since working with her he’s progressing really well and his communication is getting better and better. He’s also recently started pre school which has hugely improved his social and interactive skills. Lately he’s really trying to make sounds, he alsotakes my hand to where he wants to be. Mason will bring me things he wants and he’s making much more eye contact.

4.Autistic Personality
There’s often a misconception that autistic children are badly behaved. This is not always true. Mason is very gentle, very loving and rarely has a tantrum. He loves cuddles and he’s so gentle with people and animals. Mason will always have a smile on his face and is so energetic. He loves mixing with other children and going to toddler groups and pre school. He loves his forest school session on a Wednesday, it’s a big open space with several activities where he can play and learn as he chooses. This is perfect for Mason as he likes the freedom of choosing what he wants to do and learn.

5. Different Not Less
The point im trying to make is that people with autism are different and not less. They may see the world differently but this can be an advantage for them. Who knows, he could do something amazing with his different views one day! Look at Einstein, Mozart and Newton! All said to have been autistic and yet they’ve made such an impact that they’re still much talked about to this day.

6. Follow Your Instincts
My son is so special and his autism makes him who he is. Anyone who knows Mason knows what a happy little boy he is and how much he loves life and the people in his life. I’m glad I trusted my instincts and got help for him at such a young age because with the amazing therapists who work with him he’s progressing so well with his development. I’m hoping if anyone reading has any concerns that they do the same as me and contact their Health Visitor to get the help they need.