What does Autism look like?
If you don’t have a lot of experience with Autistic individuals, your mind might immediately drift to the most stereotypical depictions of autism in the media. Often, these depictions are harmful and do not reflect the true experiences of the individuals who perceive the world in this unique way.
There are as many types of autism as there are ways to be Autistic, which means you cannot count them all! Even so, we can think about the kinds of Autism out there in terms of how much support an individual needs to live a happy and fulfilled life.
If you or someone you love is living with Autism or has recently been diagnosed, you are sure to have many questions. Read on to learn more about the Autism spectrum and where you or your loved one may fall on it.
Autism Is a Spectrum
You may have heard the phrase “Autism Spectrum.” That is because there is no single way to be Autistic. Autism is a way of perceiving the world, and individuals can fall anywhere on the spectrum and still be Autistic.
Autism affects the behavior and communication of individuals with the condition. Their place on the spectrum can be defined by the ways in which they communicate and function. The signs of Autism vary greatly depending on where a person falls on the spectrum, and even by gender, making it difficult to diagnose without the aid of a professional.
Seeing a professional early is key to helping Autistic individuals build the skills they need for independent living. Some may only require early services to develop skills for life. For those with more challenges, early intervention Autism can change the way that an Autistic individual lives in the world.
With that said, there are no longer said to be “types of Autism.” All individuals with Autism have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Instead of breaking it down into types, we discuss the needs of the individual based on the level of support that they need to live on a day-to-day basis.
Types of Autism: Levels of Support
There are three basic levels of Autism. You can break it down into individuals requiring support, individuals requiring substantial support, and individuals requiring very substantial support. As with all developmental and intellectual abilities, Autistic individuals deserve to learn, work, and grow in the least restrictive environment.
Individuals with Autism may require more or less support to communicate. At Level 1 ASD, an individual might undergo speech therapy or work with a social skills coach. At Level 3 ASD, an individual may be non-verbal or communicate using assisted technology devices.
In terms of behavior, individuals need varying levels of support to take care of tasks of daily functioning. Some individuals live independently and don’t need as much Autism help into adulthood. Others may require around-the-clock care so they will not harm themselves or others.
A professional can help you determine the level of support that you or a loved one might need to live a fulfilled life with Autism.
An Incredible Life With Autism
Some Autistic individuals live a perfectly happy life without any kind of intervention. Even so, an Autistic person’s unique view of the world can lead to challenges that are best addressed early. No matter what types of Autism you experience, early intervention is an important key to living a wonderful, independent life.
Did this article change the way you see the world? There are more incredible articles about health and family on the blog. Keep on reading to learn more!