Autism Acceptance Month - What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Jessica Getter, OT

The purpose of Autism Acceptance Month is to promote education and inclusion surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorder. Occupational Therapist Jessica Getter specializes in working with autistic patients. In collaboration with the parent of one of Jessica's autistic clients, they shared what people should know about Autism:

Autism is a difference in how the brain works, a type of neurodiversity that impacts how a person interprets and interacts with the world around them. It presents as a wide range, or spectrum, of characteristics and no two people with autism are exactly the same. Characteristics of autism include challenges with social interaction, communication, and behavior. They may have difficulty interpreting others’ emotions and expressing their own emotions.

Autistic people may have unique behaviors that can be surprising to others such as repetitive movements or noises which help them cope with or understand the world around them through their senses. They may also have intense interests or passions.

Some autistic people have normal learning and cognitive skills while others may have more difficulty. The severity of the challenges for an autistic person does not mean they are any less intelligent than neuro-typical people.

Autism is a lifelong condition and an autistic person’s strengths and challenges may change over the life span. Early intervention from therapy services can make a big difference on a person’s skills throughout their life. Some autistic people can live independent lives while others may need more support throughout their life.

Treatment for autism does not aim to “fix” the symptoms but rather to help the individual by finding ways to adapt to challenges. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and relationship-based behavioral therapy are all a part of a holistic treatment approach to help autistic people live full lives.

We aim to celebrate the differences, talents, and skills neurodiverse people bring to the world and to create environments of inclusion and empowerment.

Check out our resources for Autism: 

Autism Questions Answered | A Parent's Guide to a New Diagnosis


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