Many autistic people have difficulty interacting with others and can find it challenging to initiate interactions, respond to others or keep conversations going. They may also miss non-verbal cues or the nuances of a social situation.
Many autistic people have difficulty processing sensory information. Too much sensory input (hypersensitivity) can cause stress, anxiety and even physical pain. Low sensitivity (hyposensitivity) can also cause issues such as not recognising pain or temperature.
Autistic people can find the world an unpredictable and confusing place. Sticking to routines, schedules and rules can provide comfort through predictability. Unexpected changes to routine can cause extreme anxiety.
Many autistic people have intense and highly-focused interests. These may (or may not) relate to their study, work or community participation. Special interests provide a way to relax and de-stress, a sense of structure and order, and a way to start conversations.
Many autistic people engage in repetitive behaviours, like hand flapping, rocking, spinning, lining up objects, fidgeting with objects or vocalisations. These behaviours may calm their anxiety, focus their concentration, or help them deal with overwhelming sensations or emotions.
Through research, advocacy and a range of supports and initiatives we seek to build a more inclusive society where autistic people are supported to reduce barriers and recognise and celebrate strengths.