The condition impairs the natural instinct to communicate and form relationships. Autism often means withdrawal and isolation by and of the child. The degree to which the child is affected can vary dramatically.
The following are common characteristics:
Difficulty with social relationships.
Difficulty with verbal and non verbal communication.
Lack of imagination and empathy.
Resistance to change in routine.
These characteristics are often combined with challenging behaviours that relate to the inability to understand and/or frustration at not being able to communicate effectively. For those with autism everything in the world can seem frightening and confusing, and even the most basic skills must be taught. The effectiveness of education lies in breaking down tasks into small steps with opportunities for learning and generalisation of skills, with communication at the heart of learning and teaching process.