What Is Autism? 

Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) is a 'neurodevelopmental disorder' characterised by difference in how a person communicates, understands and interacts with the social world.  
ASC is highly variable in its presentation meaning how the differences manifest from person to person differs hugely. Furthermore, how ASC presents can look different at different times in life and development, and be highly related to the stresses and pressures of the world and environment around them. 
At BASE we believe that these beautiful and neurodivergent brains should be celebrated. 
People with ASC have a wealth of strengths and abilities that have enabled the world to develop in unique and marvellous ways. The current terminology that autistic people have a 'disorder' can be very harmful and unhelpful. 
This is why after the assessment, our team will generate a highly detailed report describing all aspects of your profile, highlighting numerous strengths, and providing recommendations for continuous support. 
The current diagnostic manual that is used in the UK, DSM-V, defines ASC as the following: 
A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text): 
Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions. 
Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviours used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication. 
Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understand relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behaviour to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers. 
B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text): 
Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases). 
Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behaviour (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat same food every day). 
Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests). 
Hyper- or hyperactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement) 
Other aspects that are important when considering a diagnosis are: 
Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life). Symptoms can cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning. 
It is essential that the assessment process ensures that these disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay. 

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