“When you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
This week we are celebrating World Autism Awareness Week (29 March – 4 April), which seeks to raise awareness and create a society that works for autistic people.
This can only happen if there is a better understanding across society and we can all contribute by finding out more information. Although everyone has different experiences and needs, World Autism Awareness Week is a chance to highlight the obstacles that many autistic people experience.
What is Autism?
Autism is many things but overall, it is simply a different way of viewing and experiencing the world.
One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.
Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning that people with autism share certain characteristics but remain individuals. Each person with autism has their own areas of strength, needs and likes.
People on the autistic spectrum may have difficulties that can include social communication and interaction, sensitivity to light, sound or touch and may live with extreme anxiety.
If you’d like to find out more information about what autism is, watch this short film narrated by Alan Gardner, the Autistic Gardiner:
Resources to help raise awareness
Below are some links for further reading regarding World Autism Awareness Week, Autism in the North East and ways you can support and spread awareness:
Wear something blue on April 2 in support of understanding and acceptance for people with autism.
The North East Autism Society suggests changing this week to World Autism Acceptance Week. This is a new step towards autism to encourage acceptance instead of just awareness.
‘Think Autism’ aims to improve the services and opportunities for children, young adults and adults on the autism spectrum.
Inclusion North exists to make inclusion a reality for all people with a learning disability or autism and their families.
The team at Sunderland People First help to keep people in Sunderland with a learning disability, autistic people and their families use different ways to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.