What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects both social and communication skills where upon those people with the condition remain isolated within an inner world of their own, functioning by their own rules. Understanding that is often contrary to social norms.
Autism is a complex condition that will persist through a lifetime although, with genuine care and patient effort, problem areas arising from the autistic condition can be improved in time. Individuals with autism do not fit naturally to the expectations, frameworks and boundaries of society. In short, the autistic person struggles to make sense of things in the way others do. Autism is a disability with a wide range of severity. It has given birth to the concept of 'autistic spectrum disorder', which includes the condition known as Aspergers Syndrome (acknowledged in the main as a form of autism) a disability that affects the way the person communicates and relates to others. Traits of autism that are held common with those of Aspergers are the difficulties experienced in communication and in social relationships. Special interests sometimes quite offbeat or bizarre, may develop in persons with Autism/Aspergers. Invariably there is a predilection to routine and resistance to change.
It is a reasonable observation that, if left to their own devices, some individuals with either condition would be content to live out their entire lives in their bedroom, providing that the barest of their essentials be readily available. In this situation interaction with others is kept to a minimum. It is for this reason that we need to introduce those on the spectrum to acceptance of social contact of an appropriate fashion, free from the repetition of their own preferred ways. Often they will pay little or no attention to the responses of those that they approach.
As other establishments may have proved, behaviour management works but if used incorrectly it encourages robot-like behaviour, providing short-term behaviour change, or results in some form of aggression. If professionals in the care system have the courage to be truthful, they will confess that some staff seem to think that dealing with persons with autistic spectrum disorders it is best to subscribe to a straight forward dichotomy in a 'Them (the individual with autistic spectrum disorders) and Us (the attendant staff without autistic spectrum disorders)'.
At 122 Scorer Street, the intention is to portray an equality that is fact rather than just words, so that the collective understanding is of people living under one roof. The only differentiation being that some of those people have a clearer understanding of social convention and expectations, not as task masters or staff but as role models, the roles having been fully explained and understood by the remainder.