Word of the Week - Autism

Emma Monaghan discusses the science section's word of the week: autism.

Emma Monaghan
21st October 2019

In the UK, more than 1 in every 100 people have Autism. This life-long condition is not an illness, and is studied as a spectrum - every autistic person is different.

Autism can affect how a person processes social interaction, and sensory information such as light, noise, taste, smell and touch. For example, loud noises and bright lights can sometimes be stressful and very overwhelming for a person with autism. Expressing emotions and communicating with others can also prove difficult sometimes for autistic people, and this can lead to some people feeling very isolated, anxious and misunderstood by others.

Unfamiliar surroundings and situations, and a change to routine can be difficult and upsetting for an autistic person. Currently the cause of autism is unknown, but it has been confirmed that factors as the MMR vaccine and diet, are not the cause. Recent studies have shown there is a positive genetic correlation between likelihood of autism and the likelihood of high intelligence. Greta Thunberg, a warrior for social change against global warming, is affected by Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. The highly successful Greta has spoken out about her Asperger’s; “Sometimes it makes me a bit different from the norm” but it is her “Super Power”.

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