What is Autism?

I have decided to do a series of, What is…posts, looking at the different medical diagnosis’s we have in our family. And there’s a few! What is autism? Is the obvious place to start. I’ve touched on the subject, and talked about what is and isn’t in various posts, but this will the first post looking directly at what autism is. I’m will then be following up with, What is Chromosome Micro Deletion? What is Fibromyalgia? Then possibly some others like Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Pathological Demand Avoidance, Social Anxiety, PTSD, Depression….like I said, I’m not short of subject matter.

I’m far an “expert” on all these things, they are things I’ve lived through myself or watched those around me live through them. Part of my way of coping, especially with the conditions those around my that I love have to live with is. Researching as much as I can, to help them as best as I can. Now I want to share what I’ve learnt with as many people as I can. That after all, is the whole point of this blog.

Outside perception

What is autism?

Everyone seems to have heard of autism these days, but how many people actually know what autism is? When I see various people talking about what autism is, whether that’s directly to me, or seeing posts online. I have to be honest, it makes me wince. More often than not, they are completely wrong. There is a lot more awareness that autism is a thing, but the awareness of what autism actually is. And what it means to be autistic, still leaves a lot to be desired.

Of course the vary nature of the condition probably doesn’t help, it’s a vast spectrum. Every autistic person is different, and some have other things like learning difficulties, anxiety disorders etc.., and some don’t. If you don’t know anyone who is autistic, how much are you likely to know? When Jack got his diagnosis, I knew nothing. I vaguely could remember hearing about it, somewhere in my life, that was it.

So what is autism?

The National Autistic Society says,

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

Is that what you all had in your mind, when you started reading this? If you thought something please leave a comment saying what. I’d like to hear what people thought and why.

I’d also like to add what the NHS has on their website about, which makes a very important point.

Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people. 

It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young. 

If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.

Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things

Other than the “it appear when very young” bit, you are born autistic. That’s a very important thing for people to remember. Sadly, people get drawn into looking for “cures” or blaming it on vaccines. I have two autistic children, I have completely accepted who they are. The difficulties they face, but also embraced what they are good at.

Acceptance

Acceptance is the latest buzzword, that is replacing awareness. Most people are aware of autism now, what needs to be worked on. Is people accepting what it is, and what it means. I hope this explained that well enough for people to understand. It can be a difficult thing to grasp when you around it all the time, so asking people from the outside to fully grasp it. I think is asking a lot, but if we can get people to at least know the basic facts. Then we will have made progress. As always, thank you for reading, and your continued support.

Dad Does Autism

My name is Adam. I live with my partner Natalie, and our 2 children Jack and Lily. Both children are autistic, it is now my mission to show what life around autism is like. Spread the awareness and gain the acceptance that autistic people deserve.

21 thoughts on “What is Autism?

  • August 4, 2020 at 1:14 am
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    Keep spreading the word mate, you’re doing a fantastic job

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  • August 4, 2020 at 12:20 pm
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    I didn’t know the National Autistic’s Society definition of autism! Tbh I don’t like their definition as it portrays autism in a very negative light. I have autism, and I think it is unfair to portray it in a negative light. You make a very good point of acceptance though! Thanks for sharing!

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    • August 4, 2020 at 12:29 pm
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      It could be seen as slightly negative, I think it’s fair enough as a starting point to explain autism, but it could have been embellished to add something more positive on the end.

      I looked at a couple of organisational who worded even more negatively, that I didn’t want to use.

      Reply
  • August 4, 2020 at 7:18 pm
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    Great post mate 👍

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  • August 4, 2020 at 7:39 pm
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    You’re doing a fantastic job mate, thanks for supporting my page 😁

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    • August 4, 2020 at 8:08 pm
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      Cheers buddy, it’s a pleasure 😊

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  • August 4, 2020 at 8:27 pm
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    Thanks for sharing, I have always described my learning disability is something that I’m always going to have no matter what, I do question why a lot of things are done which I believe is part of my disability.

    Where as my other health issues, there are ways that they can be managed, but not cured I find the same with my learning disability is just managing 🙂

    Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes

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    • August 6, 2020 at 8:32 pm
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      I think realising and accepting something like that, is something that can just be managed is a good thing. I guess it’s accepting who you are, and working with what you have got.

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  • August 4, 2020 at 9:10 pm
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    I love what you say about working toward acceptance now that there is plentiful awareness. People can be aware of something and still not accept it, so I think acceptance is definitely the next step. Progress comes in small steps, so I love that you have shared your thoughts. 🙂

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    • August 4, 2020 at 11:40 pm
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      Acceptance is definitely the next, and probably more difficult

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  • August 4, 2020 at 10:32 pm
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    Its so great that you’re able to talk about Autism and spread more awareness. I think its something that people struggle with understanding, because like you’ve mentioned above, everyone is different and the spectrum is so large.

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    • August 4, 2020 at 11:41 pm
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      It’s a difficult one, even amongst autistic people theres a lot of disagreement, so trying to explain it to the general public is difficult.

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  • August 5, 2020 at 12:08 pm
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    You do such a good job raising awareness and encouraging acceptance! Well done. Your kiddos are very lucky to have you.

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  • August 5, 2020 at 3:06 pm
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    Very interesting read, thank you for sharing I learnt a lot.

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  • August 5, 2020 at 11:14 pm
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    I think one of the more challenging things about autism is that people have a habit of projecting their own experiences. If a family member or friend has it in a certain way, they think that’s what it is without taking the time to appreciate that it impacts individuals in very different ways, which is where I think the inaccurate definitions partly come from. It’s great that we’re more aware overall though!

    Sophie

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    • August 5, 2020 at 11:43 pm
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      That is definitely that happens quite a lot, with some autistic people as well in my experience. Which can be a bit of an issue.

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  • August 6, 2020 at 12:48 pm
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    This is a really helpful post Adam, like I said in your previous post I don’t know a lot about Autism, so this post was really informative and helpful x

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  • August 9, 2020 at 10:28 am
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    Pretty well summed up I think, in layman’s terms for the general public. I see people get far too in-depth and complicated and then wonder why the average person doesn’t understand what they are talking about.

    Reply
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