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About autism

Autism is a brain-based condition – that is, where the brain hasn’t developed in a typical way.

Although no two autistic children are the same, they all have:

  • trouble interacting and communicating with others – for example, they might not use eye contact to get someone’s attention, or they can be confused by language and take things literally
  • narrow interests – for example, they might collect only sticks or play only with cars
  • repetitive behaviour – for example, they might make repetitive noises like grunts, throat-clearing or squealing, or do things like flicking a light switch repeatedly.

Also, autistic children are often under-sensitive or over-sensitive to taste, touch, sight and sounds. For example, they might be easily upset by certain sounds, or will eat only foods with a certain texture, or they might seek vibrating objects like the washing machine or flutter fingers to the side of their eyes to watch the light flicker.

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