What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability  that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with Autism don’t look different, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from talented to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.

A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.

Signs and Symptoms

People with ASD often have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviours and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASD also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and typically last throughout a person’s life.

Children or adults with ASD might:

  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
  • avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
  • appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
  • be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
  • have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
  • not participate in “pretend” games (for example, dressing up”)
  • repeat actions over and over again
  • have difficulty adapting when a routine change
  • have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
  • lose skills they once had (for example, stop saying words they were using)


We are a Charitable organisation based in Houston’s Mill, in the beautiful village of Broughshane. Sensory Kids, developed by Kathryn Davidson and Mary Connor, is a Charity offering early intervention for children with or without a diagnosis of autism (ASD) aged 2 plus.
This specialised service has been supporting children, young people and their families from 2014. In January 2021 we became a Charity to which we are very proud of. The key to our success has been good governance from all our Trustees and supporters. 

We have our own sensory room providing sensory support, parent support, workshops and sensory sessions to the Mid & East Antrim area and wider Northern Ireland. We pride ourselves on having an understanding of the needs of autistic children/young people, including actual experiences of those on the autistic spectrum, as well as informative insight into services available. We see ourselves as, ‘a valuable piece of a puzzle that can be the perfect match for a child’s success’.