Autism : Vision

The Ethnic Minority Experience

What is Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder defined by varying difficulties connected to anxiety, social communication and interaction, and by inflexible and often repetitive behaviors. Individuals with Autism may have special interests or activities. Hans Aspergers made the distinction that special interest may fall into the categories of art and sciences but not limited to. Autism can also shape how individuals see and perceive the world around them. There is not any official figures that highlight exactly how many of the 700,000 known autistic people are of the black and ethnic minority community.

Autism is largely characterised by social challenges. People with autism struggle to pick up on verbal and non-verbal language such as voice tones, gestures, sarcasm, and social appropriateness. Some people with autism are mute or have very limited speech capacity. People with autism can take things literally and be confused by social cues. They may need more time to process verbal information sometimes it can be unclear what non-autistic people mean. People with autism struggle to read others or their social habits. They may not understand the feelings of others, their intentions, or how they express themselves. People with autism may also have difficulty showing emotion or expressing their own feelings. For some autistics, too many emotions from other people can cause meltdowns or outbursts due to not being able to process emotions in the same way as non-autistic people.

There can be repetitive features to conversations or behaviours. This would often seem confusing and people with autism may struggle to understand why things happen. Many autistic people set pre planned daily routines or like things done in a specific manner to which they do themselves. They may have the living habits that make them feel comfortable whether that is eating the same things for breakfast each day. People with autism may have sensory overload where they are sensitive to loud noises or bright lights. They may not be able to tolerate loud places, harsh environments, or overly busy places.

People with autism may have a special interest or highly focused hobbies which, they are greatly passionate about to the point of intensity. Autistic people can become experts in their special interests and often like to share their knowledge. Like most people in the world, autistic people gain huge amounts of pleasure from pursuing their interests and see them as a core attribute to their wellbeing and happiness. Being highly focused helps many autistic people do well academically and in the workplace. However, they can also become so engrossed in particular topics or activities that they neglect other aspects of their lives.

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Autism affects more than 1 in 88 people. Over 700,000 people in the UK are autistic, which means that 2.8m people have a relative on the autism spectrum. People tend to 'outgrow' autism in adulthood – a myth. It's a lifelong condition – autistic children become autistic adults. Learn More

Characteristics of Autism

Autism traits vary from one person to another every though we may shes some similar traits. How autism affects one autistic to the next is very different. We have different thought processes, personalities, and interests. Much of the information available today can be quite negative and not particularly accurate for many people with autism. Some of the commonalities of autism that are shared are social challenges, anxiety, and complex health conditions/mental health conditions.

Autism

Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety can be an experience or an illness for many people with Autism. Many individuals with autism may avoid social interaction and group meetings.

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Social Challenges

Individuals with Autism may exhibit difficulties with communication. They have challenges with getting points across and picking up conversational cues.

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Complex Conditions

Autism has a large range of complex health conditions linked to the disorder. These conditions can be connected to mental health, physical ability, and general health.

Autism and Wellbeing

Well-being can be very personal for people with autism who may have their own set routines when it comes to diet and preferences. Many people with autism experience health challenges that can affect their eating patterns, sleeping patterns, and relationships with people. This section aims to provide some help reading resources available on amazon to highlight information on diet, mental health, and maintaining relationships.

Diet

Autism Diet

It is important to maintain a healthy diet of lean meats, fruit, and vegetables to improve autism symptoms. Many have conditions such as leaky gut, IBS, and other intestinal problems. Studies have shown that many people with autism have sensitives to wheat, casein in dairy, nightshades, and gluten.

Mental Health

Mental Health

Autism can have a major impact when it comes to mental health there can also be overlapping mental health or learning conditions. Some individuals with autism may also be given dual diagnoses of mental health or other medical. It is important to balance mental health and wellbeing.

Relationships

Relationships

Many people with Autism struggle with socialisation therefore can experience great difficulty in challenges when it comes to relationships. Emotions can be overwhelming to many people with Autism and they have challenges with expressing themselves verbally or emotionally.

Outings and Leisure Activities

Leisure activities are an important part of life for everyone from all walks of life. It allows people to spend quality time with friends and family to engage in different activities that are entertaining, fun, and enjoyable. This can improve the quality of life, reduce stress, and increase wellbeing. It will form feelings of joy, contentment, happiness, and fulfillment. There are many types of leisure activities that can be done individually or with others.

For people with autism varied interests may be important but can also be challenging as many leisure activities may involve social interactions. The way each autistic people engage in activities is in a way they feel most comfortable. As some autistic people have sensory overload their choice of activities may also vary. Leisure time is important to reduce stress and to help people with autism balance their energy. Their energy can be taxed by emotional, economic, and social factors. Autistic behaviour can also improve when there is calmness. Social skills can be developed through leisure activities. People come together through similar or same shared interests.

Some people with autism may not like on the spot surprises they may need notice, or the activity may need to be planned to give notice. The activities should be clearly defined and explained so they can understand if it may be a new experience. Check before the activity that they are comfortable and happy to take part in. The activities do allow them time and space to process the experience. From a health standpoint, physical activity helps reduce stress, build muscle, and increase flexibility and balance. Regular exercise can also contribute to a better night’s sleep.

Recommendations for meditative activites, events, support group and lesiure activities.