Around 130,000 Australians live with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism (HFA), meaning that they have a diagnosis of Autism without intellectual disability.
Approximately 97,000 of these Australians are men and women, aged 18 years and over, who experience the daily challenges of a largely overlooked, misunderstood, and yet highly complex and nuanced condition.
But what is High Functioning Autism?
What is High-Functioning Autism?
High-Functioning Autism is not an official medical diagnosis.
It’s often used to refer to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who read, write, speak, and manage life skills without much assistance.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that’s characterised by difficulties with social interaction and communication.
Its symptoms range from mild to severe.
This is why Autism is now referred to as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
High-functioning Autism is often used to refer to those on the milder end of the spectrum.
What are the different levels of Autism?
ASD is divided into three levels that reflect severity:
Level 1. This is the mildest level of ASD. People who are diagnosed at this level generally have mild symptoms that don’t interfere too much with work, school, or relationships. This is what most people are referring to when they use the terms High-Functioning Autism.
Level 2. Those individuals who are diagnosed at this level require more support, such as speech therapy or social skills training.
Level 3. This is the most severe level of ASD. People at this level require the most support, including full-time aides or intensive therapy in some cases.
How will I know which level I am on?
There is no single test to determine which of the three levels of Autism you will fall under. Instead a psychologist will spend a lot of time talking to someone and observing their behaviours to get a better idea of their:
Verbal and emotional development
Social and emotional capabilities
Nonverbal communication abilities
How are the different levels of Autism treated?
Potential ASD treatments include:
Speech therapy. ASD can cause a variety of speech issues. Some people with ASD might not be able to speak at all, while others might have trouble engaging in conversations with others. Speech therapy can help to address a range of speech problems.
Physical therapy. Some people with ASD have trouble with motor skills. This can make things like jumping, walking, or running difficult. Individuals with ASD may experience difficulties with some motor skills. Physical therapy can help to strengthen muscles and improve motor skills.
Occupational therapy. Occupational therapy can help you learn how to use your hands, legs, or other body parts more efficiently. This can make daily tasks and working easier.
Sensory training. People with ASD are often sensitive to sounds, lights, and touch. Sensory training helps people become more comfortable with sensory input.
Applied behavioural analysis. This is a technique that encourages positive behaviours. There are several types of applied behavioural analysis, but most use a reward system.
This video below should be able to explain exactly what High Functioning Autism is
And this one too offers a good explanation of what it’s means to be a high functioning Autistic person
For more information you can contact your local Autism Organisation – Australia wide in the links below
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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.