Autism is a term used to denote a spectrum of sensory and information processing differences from what is considered neurotypical that usually develop (or become noticeable) by the age of two. These can vary from extremely severe symptoms that require constant support (such as nonverbal communication, extreme sensory sensitivity, and self-harming behaviors) to more minor—yet significant—variations, such as having difficulty interpreting nonverbal cues or metaphorical or idiomatic language; sensory sensitivities to specific sounds, tastes, or clothing; or a need to “stim” or produce repetitive sounds or motions in order to release distress or process intense emotion. While autistic people are capable of deep emotion, empathy, and human connection, they may not express themselves in ways that the larger culture expects them to, leading to misunderstanding and criticism. The best way to learn about and understand autism is to listen to what many #ActuallyAutistic voices are now sharing.
Wendy Lampen works as a lecturer for a university of applied sciences. She got diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome herself. Trained as a teacher in English, History and Ethics she later on worked with adolescents with autism in a school setting.