Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders are a genetic condition and encompass the lifespan of the individual diagnosed with it. The term spectrum implies that it varies in intensity from person to person with no single line of diagnosis.

Autism profoundly affects the way sufferers experience the world and stimuli around them. ASD has a dramatic effect on the way they communicate with others.

With 1 in 100 people in the UK diagnosed with some level of Autism.

The Impairments that coincide with Autism

ASD causes a triad of difficulties in the reaction to stimuli that the sufferer will face. The challenges consist of:

  • Problems with Social Communication – This can prove highly tricky due to the diversity of languages, tone and other complexities of communication. Depending on the severity of Autism, communication can prove continually challenging.
  • Challenges with Social Interaction – The unspoken rules of social intercourse can prove difficult for those with Autism. This also challenges them due to difficulty in understanding others emotions and expressing themselves constructively.
  • Challenges with Social Imagination – Social situations which require creativity and an imaginative mind can also put a sufferer of autism at odds with the situation. Playing with their imaginations and understanding the concept of danger.

Online Psychological Therapies we Offer:

Common features of ASD

Favourite Hobbies or past-times

Sufferers of Autism Spectrum Disorder often have hobbies or interest that they have a great deal of fascination with. These interests can be anything depending on the individual; from Dogs to models, collecting, etc. These hobbies can be activities, which the sufferer dotes over to the point of it being obsessive.

These interests help provide a level of stability in their daily routine, making them highly desirable to the individual. In many cases, this same behaviour can be channelled through counselling, to become a highly productive behaviour in work and education.

Sensitivity to external stimuli

People with a level of Autism find one or more of their senses are subject to a heightened level of sensitivity, sometimes to the point of being debilitating. These can include senses of Taste, Sight, Hearing, Smell and Touch. People with Autism may find themselves allured by distinct feelings of touch or colours.

But may also find them overbearing and overwhelming.

This can make them like/dislike particular colours, materials or sounds due to their effect on them. Their sense of balance may also be affected due to the neurological impact of Autism on the brain.

Body Awareness may also be subject to the effects of Autism. This would make the person perform involuntary movements without them knowing or being able to control them.

Routine and Need for Repetition

Autism in people may make the sensation of repetition and routine more desirable to them. This depends on the individual as Autisms effect on Social Interaction makes the desire for routine strong in an otherwise unpredictable world.

If the person has issues with sensitivity, a routine can prove useful in alleviating its effects. For example, touching fabric they like or seeing their favourite colour can help calm them down.

Repetition is linked to stress and anxiety. Those with Autism counteract these feelings through repetition.

Learning Disabilities

People with Autism may also find learning a challenge but ranges in severity depending on where on the spectrum their condition is. These challenges can manifest in struggling to perform daily tasks like cleaning or cooking. Those with Autism may also struggle intensely with academic study due to the level of focus that’s often required.

Conditions such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder have links to Autism.

What is it like to have Autism?

The individual that suffers from it experiences autism differently. It’s a condition in which people that suffer from it have unifying segments. But apart from that, they offer genuinely unique narratives on what it’s honestly like to be on the spectrum.

Biographical stories of handling Autism include the following:

  • Doherty, K., McNally, P. and Sherrad, E. (2000) I have ASD – what’s that?
  • Stephen Shore (2013) Beyond the wall: Personal Experiences with ASD and Asperger Syndrome

I’ve heard of something called an ‘Autistic Savant’ what is that?

An Autistic Savant is someone that demonstrates an exceptional level of skill and knowledge in a specific field. Examples can include those on the spectrum who are highly skilled in Mathematics, Science including Strong recollective memory and artistic prowess.

The Stigma surrounding Autism

Movies like Rainman give the false impression that those on the spectrum for Autism are also Savant. This is untrue and only applies to a percentage of those with ASD.

What Causes Autism?

It’s not entirely known what causes Autism and it’s a condition, which is not fully understood. Theories range from pre-natal complications to recessive genes.

Private diagnosis for Autism in London

Amongst other diagnostic services such as ADHD Diagnosis that we offer in our private therapy clinic in London, we offer a diagnosis for autism for children and private diagnosis for autism in adults.

Private diagnosis will reduce the waiting time and you will get the appropriate needed support faster. The costs of autism private assessments can vary, so it’s a good idea to phone several services to ask about costs, what this pays for and whether any follow-up service is offered.

Is there any help available?

Our team of Expert Therapists and Counsellors are able to provide a highly professional, holistic approach towards treatment for Autism. Support in the creation of behaviour management tools can help reduce the stress and uncertainty around social interactions.

Learning these methods can allow anyone on the spectrum for Autism to gain more autonomy and independence for themselves. This can include learning how to get dressed, clean and cook for themselves.

Counselling can be of serious benefit for people with ASD, as it allows for the management of problems and concerns in a constructive and positive environment. This same approach can help resolve any challenges sufferers face with speech or conversational difficulties.

After an initial assessment, a registered counsellor or medical professional should be able to provide a clear plan of action for managing key areas for long-term improvement.

Is there any further Information that may help me?

  • The National Autistic Society: www.autism.org.uk
  • NHS page on ASD: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autistic-spectrum-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  • There are now many counselling and therapeutic services and organisations available. There are many trained professionals who will be able to support you such as Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Here are the details of available services:
  • The NHS – seeing your GP and asking for a referral to see a specialist.
  • Charities – (such as MIND, Rethink, Young Minds and The National Autistic Society)
  • Counselling and psychotherapy clinics and services

For more information call 0753 718 1090 or email help@online-therapy.company. To book a Virtual Therapy appointment with the Online Therapy Company, please fill in the online booking form.

Author – Dr Aisha Ali – DPsych Couns Psych, ADOS 2 Certified B.Psych (Hons)

Dr Aisha Ali is a highly experienced BPS Chartered Counselling Psychologist and Expert witness with over 15 years experience of working within the NHS in complex care and private practice. She has extensive experience of working with individuals, couples and families presenting with complex psychological and emotional issues. Aisha provides life and performance coaching.

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