Autism

Autism spectrum condition (ASC) is the preferred name for what is formally known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASC is not a mental health disorder; it is a neurodevelopmental condition that has an impact on the child or young person’s ability to communicate and relate with others, and on their behaviour. Autism manifests differently in every individual based on where on the spectrum they are.

As a teacher, you can make a child or young person with autism feel really seen and understood if you take the time to learn more about the neurodevelopmental condition.

A child or young person with ASC will process information differently than neurotypical children. Their communication, social interaction, and behaviour is impacted by this. The child or young person may be non-verbal, or they may be highly articulate and struggle to hold a conversation without talking at a person. In terms of social interaction, the child may be unsociable and prefer to be in their own company or they may be eager to make friends and be social but sometimes struggle with keeping those relationships. A child or young person may also be impacted by sensory overload and may not like change.

Some children, especially girls, are very good at masking their difficulties. They may be experiencing sensory overload and lash out as a result or stay very quiet and isolated from their peers; keep an eye out for all ends of the spectrum and ask and accommodate to those children’s needs. In times of extreme stress, a student with autism may need a space where they are able to calm down and relax.

If you are ever unsure, contact the parents and talk through their child’s needs to make sure they’re able to learn and grow in your classroom.

To learn more about children and young people with ASC watch our informational and real life experience videos below.

Watch our Films

Autism Spectrum Condition in Children Information Film

This film explains how to recognise and help a child who shows the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Condition. (ASC)

The film focuses on children who may be very able and whose condition may not be readily apparent, especially girls, as they are particularly good at ‘masking’ symptoms. The film also highlights how people with Autism Spectrum Condition can also develop mental health conditions.

Read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

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Autism Spectrum: Tips For Teachers

This 5 minute film gives Tips for Teachers who may have a child in their class with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition.

Read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

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Autism and Co-existing Conditions in Children

Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) is not a mental health disorder. It’s a developmental condition and neurodiversity which affects how people see the world and how they communicate and interact. Autistic people will often, but certainly not always, experience some mental health challenges.

It is estimated that around 70% of people with autism have one mental health condition (such as anxiety, ADHD, depression or OCD) and around 40% of the 70% will have more than one. Some of these mental health conditions begin in childhood and are sometimes referred to as co-occurring or co-existing conditions.

Early intervention can be extremely effective at limiting the effects of these co-existing mental health conditions. Watch our film which features an interview with Professor Emily Simonoff, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s College London, to find out more about autism and co-existing mental health conditions.

Find out more about Autism Spectrum Condition in Children, read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

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Raising a child with autism: Carrie and David

Carrie and David describe how their happy child began to feel excluded and different when she started school. The outside world is so structured towards the neurotypical that it was causing a lot of damage to Tylan who is not neurotypical because of their autism.

It is a misnomer that autistic children are not sociable.  They want to be able to have all kinds of friends. But if they are excluded and don’t fit in anywhere, this leads to feelings of isolation, sadness and depression.

Tylan finally came into her own when they became an actor playing an autistic character for Hollyoaks. The company and other cast members were determined to understand Tylan. They constantly change the environment around them and make adjustments to suit Tylan’s needs.  As a result, Tylan has flourished.

Find out more about Autism Spectrum Condition in Children, read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

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Growing up with Autism: Tylan

Tylan felt alienated at school, thinking everything they did was wrong. Having a diagnosis of autism helped them but they developed anxiety, felt overwhelmed, had sensory overload and preferred to be alone rather than with people who didn’t understand them. Tylan then developed clinical depression which didn’t allow them to see how things could get better or how they could succeed in life.

Tylan’s job at Hollyoaks, where many adjustments were made to suit their needs, allowed them to flourish.

Find out more about Autism Spectrum Condition in Children, read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

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Living with Autism: Dan and Charlie

In this film Dan explains his 9 year old son Charlie’s behaviour and how he came to be diagnosed as autistic. Dan describes the family dynamics, how best to manage Charlie, what his strengths are and future prospects. Charlie gives an insight into living with autism and shares his thoughts and feelings.

Find out more about Autism Spectrum Condition in Children, read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

 

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