Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder are conditions that someone can have alongside autism. People who have ADHD might be more hyperactive or struggle with attention than people who don’t have ADHD.
Alternative and augmented communication (AAC)
This is an umbrella term which covers the different communication methods that may be used by people to communicate or aid communication. These can range from picture cards, symbols and gestures to computer software.
Anxiety is a condition which means you worry more than normal about things. Anxiety can be mild or very difficult to live with and can change dependent on the situation and support available. There are many causes for anxiety and different ways it can present and it doesn’t always make sense to the non-anxious person.
Ask, Listen and Do
This is a strategy you can use to ask for feedback, listen to what the person is saying and do what they say. For autistic people and those with learning disabilities this structure can help them to voice their opinions.
Auditory Processing Disorder
Autism and Asperger’s
Behaviour that challenges
When an autistic person is distressed their behaviour indicates their distress. The behaviour of those around them can be challenging for the autistic person and the autistic person’s behaviour can be challenging for those around them.
This is a type of disorder that interrupts what is medically classed as normal or typica development in childhood. A developmental disorder may affect a single area of development (specific developmental disorder) or several (pervasive developmental disorder or global developmental disorder).
Autistic people can choose whether to tell other people that they are autistic and what that means for them. Some people choose not to disclose, and others choose whether to disclose depending on the situation they are in.
This condition means the individual has a difficulty with reading and processing written information.
This is repetition of another person's spoken words or repeating of the same word over and over. It can help someone to process the information that they have been given.
Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. The main symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures. These are sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it works.
This is our ability to manage multiple tasks and responsibilities at once. Autistic people might struggle with one or more of the areas of executive function.
This is the thinking skill of holding information in your mind and being able to apply it to the situation you are in.
This is the ability to think flexibly or have multiple approaches to the same problem. Autistic people may struggle with this due to liking routine and plans that do not change.
This aspect of executive function means controlling your actions and keeping track of what you are doing and how they relate to your goals.
Unlike a learning disability, a learning difficulty does not affect intellect. Examples of learning difficulties are: dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyspraxia and language and social communication disorders.
Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.
Masking or camouflaging is when an autistic person acts to appear less autistic or not autistic at all. They may change how they look, how they talk and their behaviours. Too much masking can lead to a burnout.
A meltdown is a response to an overwhelming situation. The response can be very loud and sometimes physical. The person needs time to recover and should not be laughed at for having a meltdown.
Neurodiversity is the idea that the way we think is not always the same. Instead, this it recognizes that all variations of human neurology should be respected as just another way of being, and that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of natural variations in our genes.
Some autistic people might have very strict routines that they like to stick to. Their routine is predictable and helps them to manage anxiety.
This is the term given to a group of behaviours in which someone seeks to reduce sensory input. They individual may avoid sensory inputs and environments they find overwhelming, they can be hyper-sensitive to some sensory inputs which may cause them physical pain, discomfort or impede their processing.
Sensory processing and sensitivity
Sensory processing is how we take in and perceives sensory information. This may include hyper (high) or hypo (low) sensitivity to the 5 senses, as well as balance and body awareness.
This is the term given to a group of behaviours in which someone seeks out sensory input. They may specifically seek loud noises, highly visual displays, textures, strong tasting foods, strong smells, physical/ tactile pressure or any of their personal sensory preference. This is viewed as the opposite of sensory aversive behaviours.
Shutdowns are similar to meltdowns but are not as visible or loud. A person may withdraw instead of being their usual self.
This is an intense and passionate level of focus on things of interest on a specific subject. For some people this can be a game or TV show, a type of animal, a type of machine or a country. Special interests are varied and bring the person joy.
This is the way we communicate, understand and use language with others. Autistic people might show differences in understanding and expressing communication and language.
This is how we interact with other people, develop relationships and socialise with other people. Autistic people may be differ in the ability to understand social behaviour and the feelings of others, which informs the development of friendships and relationships.
Social Stories™ by Carol Gray
A Social Story™ describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format. The goal of a Social Story™ is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience.
Stimming is short for ‘self-stimulatory’ behaviour. Stimming can be a repetitive movement, repeating words, hand movements and making noises. Some stims are barely noticeable and some are very visible. Stimming behaviours are a way of self-regulating and shouldn’t be stopped or reduced as they are an autistic person’s way of managing a situation.
Visual supports or stories
The presentation of information in a visually structured manner to make it easier to understand.