Understanding Autism

Although most children go through common stages of child development, each child that enters your setting will be unique. According to Richard Maguire "Autism is a way of being human, a way of living, fascinating and quite unlike the life of most people, we are focused passionate and often quite disorganised."

Developing awareness and understanding of children with autism spectrum disorder is paramount and exploring the potential impacts on the child means they can have development catered towards their needs and learning style. 

What is autism?

Find out more about autism by watching this short film narrated by Alan Gardner, the Autistic Gardener from the National Autistic Society.

Autism is not an illness. The Autism Education Trust approaches autism as a different way of being rather than as a ‘deficient’ or ‘disordered’ way of being.

They describe the differences in three key areas that Autistic people will experience as:

  • Social Understanding and Communication
  • Sensory Processing and Integration
  • Flexible Thinking, Information Processing and Understanding 

Real Stories

Annie Grady has two sons with Autism, both on different areas of the spectrum and needing different care. She tells her story.

Richard Maguire wrote a piece 'Not all black and white: an inspiring insight from author Richard Maguire on growing up with autism' in a previous issue of Childcare Professional about living with Autism and support he needed. 

Additional resources

Autism Wales are a national charity who have shared some links and resources to various resources suitable for early years settings in Wales. This includes:

  • a short animated film developed to show young children how to be kind and accepting towards peers with additional needs.
  • a training film shows some of the challenges faced by children with an ASD during a normal day.
  • downloadable cue cards can help autistic children to understand and comply with instructions.
  • additional downloadable resources for practitioners to use in their settings.

Do you have a story about Autism you wish to share? Let us know.