Autism awareness week 2018

We held one of our equalities cafés this week to focus on Autism to celebrate Autism Awareness Week 2018.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and other people. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. It is a spectrum condition meaning all autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways.

Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other condition meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autistic spectrum learn and develop – with the right sort of support, everyone can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.

Autism affects over 700,000 children and adults in the UK – that’s at least one in 100. Globally, autism is estimated to affect over 24 million people yet not enough people think about autism as a difference rather than a disease.

Raising awareness of autism through supporting Autism Awareness Week we can encourage people to understand and influence how the public treat those with autism.

The equalities café was a chance for staff and residents to learn from Autism trainer and expert Sarah Harris: “Some PCH residents may be autistic or may not necessarily be diagnosed with autism but may have some of the characteristic They may display some of the behaviour – what I hope to do is give people the tools and knowledge of how to react to certain behaviours if they are displayed.” 

Teresa Roach was one of those who attended the café and said: “It was an excellent session – it was really engaging, informative and enlightening.   It was an hour session, delivered from a half day workshop – everyone came out thinking about how much they’d learnt.”

How does autism affect children, adults and their families?

  • Without understanding, autistic people and families are at risk of being isolated and developing mental health problems
  • If you include the families of the people that have been diagnosed, then autism is a daily part of life for 2.8 million people in the UK
  • Autism doesn’t just affect children, autistic children grow up to be autistic adults
  • Autism is a hidden disability – you can’t always tell if someone is autistic
  • While autism is incurable, the right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to people’s lives
  • 34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on
  • 70% of autistic adults say that they’re not getting the help they need from social services
  • At least one in three autistic adults are experiencing severe mental health difficulties
  • Only 16% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment
  • Only 10% of autistic adults receive employment support