Down South to Dixie!
Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects the way a person perceives and understands the world around them. It can affect the way that they interact and communicate with others, as well as how they express and control their emotions.
Defined as "spectrum condition" autism varies with each individual. Abilities also cover a wide and varying spectrum. I personally do not like to define autism in terms of IQ. Nor do I like to try to cram autism into lots of tick boxes.
Every individual is unique - just as there many shades of colours in the rainbow.
Many people on the autism spectrum refer to the condition as their brains being "wired differently" to those without autism (called Neuro-Typical or "NT). Some connections may be missing, some may be damaged, some may be plugged into the wrong connections.
All this adds up to information and signals getting lost or being delayed. It's a bit like trying to make your way through miles and miles of road-works and diversions. Tailbacks build up and a 10 minute journey can take over an hour.
That said, Autism is NOT a mental illness, nor is it a Learning Disability. Many people with autism live very fulfilling lives. some may be plugged into the wrong connectionsr being delayed