Behavioural problems and learning disabilities
What is autism?
The term autism encompasses the following diagnoses: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), classic autism, Asperger's and PDD-NOS (including subgroup McDD).
The brain of people with autism processes information differently. Autism is a congenital and lifelong disorder. It is not caused by upbringing.
People with autism process everything they see, hear, smell, etcetera, in a different way. And that requires a different mix of strengths and weaknesses. For example, people with autism often have a good eye for detail, they are honest, straightforward, analytical and hardworking, but they find it difficult to maintain oversight and social contacts and they have a remarkably limited number of interests or activities.
Autism is not visibly apparent, but it has a huge impact on a person’s life. The seriousness and manner of the impact differs per person as well as stage of life.
Autism has many faces. Some people with autism seek little contact. Others are very active in that respect, but often in a way that seems ‘strange’. Some people with autism also have an intellectual disability, others are highly intelligent. Some can lead quite independent lives with the right guidance, others need a lot of help throughout their lifetime. More than 1% of the Dutch population - about 190,000 people - have some form of autism.
What causes autism spectrum disorder?
It is difficult to pinpoint a cause, despite the extensive research that is conducted into ASD. One cause is thought to be the brain’s inability to absorb information. What we do know is that both heredity and environmental factors are involved. ASD problems often become more apparent when any changes occur in the surroundings and new requirements are to be met. Well-organised living conditions help someone with ASD to function in daily practice. Autism spectrum disorder requires various amounts of expert guidance. Sometimes people with autism can learn either by themselves or with the help of others to deal with ASD as best they can and ultimately no longer need support. With better understanding in their surroundings and the right guidance, many can attend school, hold a job, maintain relationships with others and thus occupy a useful and meaningful role in society.
Symptoms related to autism spectrum disorder
Several symptoms are associated with ASD:
- Difficulty making contact with others
- Limited communication and language skills
- Limited imagination
- Limited interest, interests and activities
- Difficulty coping with change
- Sticking strictly to habits and fixed rituals
Nicky (4) beats speech disorder
During her second visit she already uttered her first words
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