What is Autism?

  • slide



Wouldn’t you like to really understand autism? Aspiedent specialises in autism and aspergers understanding, and is an autism-led organisation but we cannot tell you everything we know about autism on this page. Autism is a term that covers a wide range of different issues that result in a set of impairments on which the diagnosis is based. The diagnosis is based on difficulties with communication, social interaction, and repetitive and restricted behaviours and interests.

However, below we provide a simple way of looking at autism and aspergers that is easy to understand and explain to other people.

Aspiedent’s model of autism

Think about every single human trait or sense. From hearing and smell (over-sensitive to under-sensitive), to attention span and problem-solving skills (excellent to poor).

Even the most obscure traits such as facial recognition skills (or little or no skills), the ability to understand animal behaviour (or not) and being able to sense when there is going to be a storm vs being surprised when it suddenly starts to rain. 

All these traits are found in the general population and most people have certain traits to a certain extent, therefore falling within a general range of “normal”. For example, most of the population are ok at problem solving, ok at recognising faces and relatively ok at sensing the changes in weather.

However, everybody is quirky.

This means that everybody in the world (including you) will have the odd few traits or senses which you just cannot rely on, or instead are over-developed.

This is where Autism comes in.

An autistic person usually has more of these traits, which fall on the outside of ‘normal’ and has them to more of an extreme.

So what?

It is not hard to see how somebody who has far more quirky traits, to a much larger extreme (in either direction) than “normal”, can find it difficult fitting in with the rest of the world.

Because of this, misunderstandings often occur between autistic and non-autistic people. We call these Aspie Incidents, hence our business name Aspiedent.

But it is also the case that non-autistic people tend not to understand autistic people very well either. The only way to get along is for both to make adjustments in order to meet somewhere in the middle.

Aspiedent CIC, directed by autistic genius and social entrepreneur Dr Elizabeth Guest (BSc,PhD, PGCHE), is an autism and neurodiversity training and consultancy company that is extremely passionate about building bridges between autistic and not autistic people. We reject the idea that one side should go all the way to understand the other. In fact we believe that this is not even possible.

This means that when we help you or the autistic adults or young people you are supporting learn how to navigate the world, we stay realistic. We help autistic people achieve goals, one step at a time, in a way that works for both them and the rest of the world.

We know that being autistic in today’s world is not easy. We spend a great deal of our time working and interacting with autistic adults. We are therefore in tune with common issues autistic people face and can share other’s insights into what helps them succeed in the world, whilst taking into account individual differences.

We are able to understand, and help others understand, how autism affects each individual through using our profiling tool. This underpins all our services and autism resources. This tool helps you to solve any autism or neurodiversity issue and can genuinely improve quality of life for autistic people through simple and inexpensive ways.

Take a look at our services.



The course is fantastic because I have only attended one session so far but have already learned to understand the behaviour of those who are not on the spectrum in a whole new way.  I wish someone had told me the purpose of small talk years ago.

Social Skills Training Participant

Explains why people may react/behave a certain way in the workplace - could be on the spectrum, may need to make changes to how we communicate.

Recruitment & Training Manager, Carillion