butterfly minds

What is autism?

Autism is very difficult to underststand and even more difficult to explain.
I found this article online that I think gives a simple but clear explanation of what Autism is.
The article is written for the purpose of explaining Autism to a child but i think its useful for any age.

What Does Autism Mean?
People usually call it autism (say: aw-tih-zum), but the official name is autism spectrum disorders. Why? Because doctors include autism in a group of problems that kids can have, including Asperger syndrome and others. These problems happen when the brain develops differently and has trouble with an important job: making sense of the world.

Every day, our brains interpret (understand) the things we see, smell, hear, taste, touch, and experience. But when someone’s brain has trouble interpreting these things, it can make it hard to talk, listen, understand, play, and learn.

A kid’s symptoms could be very mild, severe, or somewhere in the middle. For example, some kids might be upset by too many noises or sounds that are too loud. Kids who have milder symptoms don’t mind loud noises so much. Someone with mild symptoms might need only a little bit of help. But a kid with severe symptoms might need a lot of help with learning and doing everyday stuff.
Kids with autism often can’t make connections that other kids make easily. For example, when people smile, you know they feel happy or friendly; when people look mad, you can tell by their face or their voice. But many kids who have autism spectrum disorders have trouble understanding what emotions look like and what another person is thinking. They might act in a way that seems unusual, and it can be hard to understand why they’re doing it.

A kid with an autism spectrum disorder might:

have trouble learning the meaning of words
do the same thing over and over, like saying the same word
move his or her arms or body in a certain way
have trouble adjusting to changes (like trying new foods, having a substitute teacher, or having toys moved from their usual places)
Imagine trying to understand what your teacher is saying if you didn’t know what her words really mean. It is even more frustrating if a kid can’t come up with the right words to express his or her own thoughts, or tell a parent what he or she needs or wants. Sometimes this can make a kid very upset and frustrated.

I found this article on a website called Kids Health from nemours here http://m.kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/brain/autism.html


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