Supporting People in North Staffordshire with Autistic Spectrum Conditions


Autism affects the way a person communicates and how they experience the world around them. It is considered a spectrum condition. While people with Autism share some similar characteristics, they are also all different from each other. The autism spectrum isn't linear from high to low but varies, just as one person might vary from another.

People with Autism may:
• find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
• not understand social rules and might seem blunt or rude
• find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
• take things very literally
• find things like bright lights, loud noises, smells, or certain textures overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
• get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
• get anxious about any changes to routine
• take longer to understand information
• repeat the same things over and over
• have highly specific interests or hobbies
• notice details that others miss
• have increased empathy or immense care for people or animals

Autism - What is it? 

  • A developmental disability 
  • It can be referred to as an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). The ‘spectrum’ indicates the diversity of autism. Individuals will be affected at different levels and therefore experience problems to varying degrees. Some people will require considerable support throughout their lives while others live independently with minimum support. 
  • No two people are the same. 
  • The more able people on the spectrum (those with Asperger’s Syndrome) are considered to have average to above average intelligence. 
  • There are around 700,000 people in the UK on the Autistic Spectrum. Statistics show there are more males than females diagnosed with an ASC. 
  • There are three main areas with which people have difficulty. Collectively these are known as the Triad of Impairments. The triad consists of difficulties with communication, social interaction and social imagination. 
  • Many people on the spectrum have a very literal understanding of language. They can experience difficulties in expressing themselves. 

Due to the ‘hidden’ nature of the condition it is difficult to recognise someone on the spectrum. People generally show no outward sign of disability, therefore some individuals are considered more able than they are. This of course, leads to confusion and misunderstanding. However, it is important to remember that people are all different and it is vital not to focus on the negative and what people on the spectrum find it difficult to accomplish but consider what they can accomplish. Indeed, many individuals on the spectrum make hard working, conscientious members of the workforce. Many famous people such as entrepreneur Richard Branson and television personality Guy Martin have a diagnosis. Individuals with extreme proficiency in certain areas are referred to as ‘Savants’.


Autism and ADHD

One other condition that is thought to be strongly related with ADHD is Autism and is that up to 70% of individuals with one condition display traits for the other. Both conditions are often misdiagnosed as one another, as there are some traits that overlap with both conditions but it can often be the case that in fact an individual has both.

The traits of Autism, can mean that an individual goes undiagnosed with ADHD, as some Autistic traits are not seen on the ADHD spectrum and therefore an individual may be instantly dismissed for ADHD.

These can include:

  • Need for routine
  • Struggling with change
  • Organisation
  • Social Anxiety

But overlapping traits of both conditions can include:

  • Perfectionism
  • Rejection sensitivity disorder
  • Meltdowns
  • Emotional dysregulation

ADHD is often means that individuals are stereotyped as being disorganised. Whereas, an individual with both conditions (know as being AuDHD) display the traits of ADHD, potentially being hyperactive and impulsive but then have the need for routine, struggle with change, struggle socially not just with RS but also with eye contact and general conversations. Along with some individuals having the inattentive form of ADHD this can make it incredibly hard to diagnose an individual with ADHD. As the more prominent ADHD traits are not always displayed in a person with both conditions.

Support and Advice 

Lifeworks Services

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Professionals    Includes useful links and detailed information about Autism.





Chris Packham (on Autism)

Christine Mcguiness (Autism)

National Autistic Society 

Read More 

Autism Assessment Service 

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  ST5 2AD
  Landline: 01782 615222.
  Mobile: 07450002289.
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