Autism spectrum disorder: why we talk about the spectrum and no longer about autism

Each person with autism is different and the word “spectrum” emphasises the importance of considering the nuclear characteristics of autism along a continuum that varies in intensity, frequency and severity. ASD is a condition of life, a way of functioning that accompanies people from the earliest stages of development to adulthood. The core deficits of autism are two: persistent difficulties in social communication and social interaction and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped behaviours, activities or interests. The social comunication and social interaction diffulties may vary from struggles to initiate interaction or bizarre reactions to interactions initiated by others to barely responds when interaction is initiated by others and use only few words. As regarding the repetitive and stereotyped behaviours, activities and interests it may vary from fatigue in copy changes, inflexibility and difficulties in switching beetween activities to severe discomfort when having to shift attention or change the action in progress. It is also important to consider that people with autism possess important unseen resources and qualities as above-average intelligence, attention to detail and narrow interests can make them particularly capable in certain areas.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance to consider the person and his or her strengths beyond deficit; this is the real key to both social and labour inclusion with the knowledge that each person is different.

Leave a Comment