Frequently Asked Questions about Autism

What is “the Spectrum”?

Spectrum is a term used to describe the wide range of severity and various types of symptoms. Most people on the autism spectrum identify with one or more challenges including…

  • challenges communicating and interacting with others
  • repetitive and restricitve behaviours, interests or activities
  • strong interest in one topic or subject
  • meltdowns – intense responses when feeling extremely overwhelmed. May include crying, shouting and loss of control.
  • preference for same routines and find sudden changes overwhelming and confusing
  • speech and language difficulties
  • learning disabilities
  • sleep problems
  • attention problems
  • anxiety and depression
  • difficulties with fine and gross motor skills
What to do if I suspect autism?

If you suspect you or your child has autism you should talk to your doctor. For adults, there is testing available from psychologists known as psychological assessments. These tests are used to determine if someone has autism. There is no blood test to confirm autism. Doctors will look at behaviour and development when making a diagnosis. Autism can be diagnosed at any age.

How common is autism? .

The following statistics were found on the Centre For Disease Control and Prevention website. Approximately 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. Autism is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. It is four times more common in boys than girls. For more information and to read the full article visit https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

What is stimming?

Stimming involves any behaviour that is self stimulating or repetitive. Examples of stimming include hand flapping, rocking, twirling your hair, finger flicking or pacing. It is considered to be a protective response to overstimulation. Stimming helps relieve anxiety when a person feels overwhelmed. Allowing an individual to stim is important as long as they are not being harmful to anyone around them.

Are any celebrities autistic?

Celebrities who are on the spectrum include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. Read the full article here which mentions a complete list of celebrities with autism.