What is Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC)?
Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are a lifelong, developmental condition that affect how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. A person with an Autism Spectrum Condition may have difficulties with their verbal and nonverbal social communication skills that affect their daily life and they may struggle to interact with other people, cope in social situations and form or maintain relationships. Autism Spectrum Conditions are also associated with restricted and repetitive behaviours, such as struggling with flexibility, finding it hard to cope with changes, repetitive movements such as hand flapping, fixated interests and sensory sensitivities. These features must be present in the early developmental periods, although may not be apparent until later on in a person’s life as the social demands increase, or conversely may be masked by learned strategies as a person gets older. Having a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition does not mean that there is something ‘wrong’ with a person, although we acknowledge that differences in social communication and interaction can lead to challenges in life, such as finding it hard to cope at school. We also recognise that people with Autism Spectrum Conditions have many strengths and with the right understanding and support around them can be very successful in life.
ASC Top Tips
- Back up your spoken word with visual supports i.e. objects, photographs, pictures or written word.
- Give clear, slow, direct instructions.
- Give time for processing the spoken word – 10 second rule i.e. up to 10 seconds to respond.
- Avoid sarcasm, jokes and open ended questions.
- Provide a clear visual timetable of day’s events.
- Be aware of literal interpretation of language e.g. “get a grip” “wind your neck in”.
- Tell the person what you 'want them to do', not 'what not to do'.
- Always respond calmly and slowly.
- Do not stand too close to the person.
- Organise the environment – define areas/have clear boundaries.
- Encourage a positive, consistent routine.
- Be aware of sensory issues in the environment for people with Autism and make adaptions.
Useful websites for ASC and your child
Information on how autism assessments are managed during Covid: https://www.esht.nhs.uk/service/community-paediatrics/autism-assessments/
- Anxiety video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qq4T11apVE&t=568s
- Sleep video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEyrB3lKjSk&t=34s
- Emotional Regulation and Relationships: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmMoRR-SBMw&t=530s