Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people and how they make sense of the world.
The condition means sufferers find social communication, social interaction, and social imagination - known as the ‘triad of impairments’ - difficult.
Each individual is affected in different ways, which is why autism is commonly known as a spectrum disorder and why it may be more difficult to support someone who is struggling: there is no uniform way of helping.
Growing up with autism.
The transition between childhood and adulthood can be particularly challenging for those with autism or ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder).
This is because often support can be changed or withdrawn, upsetting daily routine, and so individuals can fall between the cracks and have their needs overlooked.
This is partly because those suffering with ASD or similar conditions do not qualify for support from any specialist services offered by a local authority when they become an ‘adult’ - they can fall between mental health and learning difficulties teams, which can often result in neither team taking responsibility for organising the support.
How can carers help?
The National Autistic Society along with Skills for Care and Skills for Health have worked together to create a checklist of areas to look out for when supporting children, young adults and adults with autism. This checklist includes points such as:
- understanding the needs of people with autism to be independent and treated as individuals
- ensuring that each person receives specialist and individual support to realise potential
- understanding the notion of autism being a spectrum - a ‘one size fits all’ model of support will not work
- supporting the development of social skills, and thoroughly planning an individual’s transition between different support services
It is important for anyone who is supporting someone with autism to fully understand the different aspects of the condition so that the highest level of help can be offered.
It is also key that you involve the person you are supporting and their family whilst planning how best to help - this will help them feel confident in you, and confident in their support plan.
Often an important goal of many people with autism is to become integrated into their communities and take part in social activities.
Think you’re the right person to help people achieve these goals and to really make a difference in their lives? Then let us help you find a role that can help you do that.