Autism has, in recent years, become better understood and awareness of the condition has been raised. Though the term itself is widely-recognised, many people are not quite sure what autism actually is; here are some important facts about the condition.
- Autism is what is known as a 'spectrum condition', which means that while people with autism have certain difficulties and issues in common, each person is affected differently
- Autism is a lifelong condition, affecting the perceptions of the autistic person with regard to the world and other people within it
- There is no cure for autism as it is not a disease or illness. There are however a number of ways that an autistic person's quality of life can be enhanced and the symptoms managed
- Many people with autism have mental health issues and learning difficulties, which often manifest as sensory seeking behaviour
- The most common types of autism are PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) and the more widely-recognised Asperger's Syndrome
- Around 1 in 1,000 people in the UK are diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, amounting to around 700,000 people in total
- The symptoms of autism are not always visible, leading to the condition being termed as a 'hidden disability'
- Many autistic people feel that help from social and other services is not sufficient: around 70% of autistic adults feel that improved services and support would help them to feel less isolated
- A similar problem exists with employment, with 53% of autistic adults saying they would benefit from employment support but just 10% saying that they had received or could receive it
Reducing overactivity and sensory seeking behaviour patterns in people with autism is challenging. The Sensory Hug, a dynamic compression garment from Jobskin, is one of the most effective ways to manage such symptoms, delivering proprioceptive and sensory feedback to the wearer which helps to increase body awareness and reduce stress.