What is Autism?

Autism is a neurological difference. In other words, autistic brains are wired a bit differently from most other brains! This means that autistic people think a bit differently and experience the world around us in different ways. For example, sounds that others may barely notice or be able to filter out can be unbearable for us. Or lights that others find normal may be far too bright for us.

But our different brains also bring strengths. We may see patterns that others miss which can be great for solving problems. As autistic brains seem to never take a day off, we often have lots of ideas and may be very creative.

Autism is a difference not a disabilty. However, autistic people are often disabled by a world that is not designed for how our brains work. This is similar to the way that someone in a wheelchair is disabled by a flight of stairs with no ramp or lift available.

No two autistic people experience the world in the same way as each other. While there are common autistic traits, such as hypersensitivity to light or sound, and the habit of stimming, you cannot and should not ever assume that an autistic individual will have a particular trait. The solution is to ask us. Most autistic people are very happy to share what we enjoy and are good at, and where we may need some extra support.