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Spectra.Blog is a resource for anyone interested in learning more about autism. So, what is autism? Let’s consider what it is, and what it isn’t. To describe it in its most basic form, autism is a lifelong difference in neurological processing. The UK’s National Autistic Society states that autism is: ‘A lifelong, developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.’The UK’s National Health Service states: ‘Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.’

Autism does not equate to low intellect. Around half of the individuals identified as being autistic are said to have average to above average intellectual ability. (The National Autistic Society puts the amount of autistic individuals with an intellectual disability at between 44-52%, while the charity Mencap also quotes around 50%. Autism is therefore not intrinsically a learning disability; nor is it a mental health condition.)

(Learning disabilities and genetic disorders that an autistic individual has would be classed as co-existing conditions – but they are increasingly being regarded as additions to autism, rather than a facet of autism itself).

Did you know that with the latest diagnostic changes, there are no sub-categories, such as Asperger’s – so now, ‘autism is autism’? (The latest diagnostic guidelines, the ICD-11, can be found HERE; see also America’s DSM5 diagnostic manual.

Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them…

Autism is essentially a set of neurology configurations affecting the individual’s processing abilities, at varying levels – hence the term ‘spectrum’ – so, no two autists are the same!

So… if you are in need of empathetic content that helps advocate autism acceptance, instead of intolerance, delve into Spectra.Blog for enlightenment! (And if you’re wondering what the scales are for, they represent the fine balance between emotional skill-sets and environment, for anyone who’s autistic.)

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Finally, please note that we are #actuallyautistic autism advocates! This is not a place for negativity, or for seeking / berating so-called ’causes’ of autism.

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