What is autism?

     by Inovar Autismo

Autism, or Autism Spectrum, is characterized by a change in neurological development, which manifests itself not only in childhood, but in lifelong development (Frith, 2003). It involves a set of difficulties in different areas, including communication, social interaction, and behavior. Some emotional, cognitive, motor and sensory difficulties may also be present (Whitman, 2019).

Autism is not a disease, but rather a neurodevelopmental condition, in which there is a difference in the level of information processing. This means that the autistic brain has developed in a different way. In this way, the autistic brain may have a harder time filtering out some sensory information, including noises, lights, smells, and therefore has to make an additional effort to process everything at the same time. Autism expresses itself in different ways in different people. The most important thing is that each autistic person is recognized as a person, and their individuality is respected.

Autistic people can often exhibit some repetitive behavior patterns. To these behaviors we give the name of “stimming”. Stimming can be a way to calm and reduce anxiety, maintain awareness of their bodies, focus on concentration or deal with overwhelming sensations or emotions. The same behavior can serve different purposes in different people, or even in the same person at different times, depending on the situation or mood.


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