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Posted on Mar 26 2018 by Bobbie Kelly

We’re proud to support World Autism Awareness Week

We’re proud to support World Autism Awareness Week, which brings thousands of communities, schools and workplaces together to increase awareness of Autism.

Led by The National Autistic Society, the week aims to transform lives, challenge perceptions and build a society that works for autistic people. Below you will find lots of information which will help you to understand autism, and ensure you know how to support people who are autistic.

This week at St Andrew’s we have lots of activities for the people in our care to get involved in, including an Autism Awareness event led by our patients on Mackaness Ward. Taking place on Wednesday, the event will include guest speakers Dr Paul Wallang and Peter Ford, and provide a chance for attendees to learn about autism, sensory activities and food tasting.

Too Much Information campaign

Over 99% of people have heard of autism, but only 16% of autistic people feel the public understand them. By challenging the myths, misconceptions and stereotypes you can ensure you understand autism, the person, and the changes they can make. Click below to watch two films produced by The National Autistic Society, starring autistic people and watched by over 67 million people worldwide.

> Make it stop
> Can you make it to the end?

Creating an autism-friendly workplace

Every autistic person is different, so creating an autism-friendly workplace can seem daunting. But by understanding a bit more about autism, you can help change an autistic colleague’s world.

Below is some key information about autism, the person, and the changes you can make:

Unexpected changes

What’s meant by ‘unexpected changes’?  
The world can be an unpredictable, confusing place for autistic people, and that makes a set routine crucial for getting by. So when something unexpected still happens, it can feel like the whole world is spinning out of control.

What can I do?
Give some warning. The best way for an autistic person to deal with unexpected changes is to, well, expect them! So if plans do change, let them know in advance – e.g. sending clear meeting agendas. A little notice and understanding can go a long way.

Processing time

What is it?
Sometimes autistic people feel like they’re getting ‘too much information’ and need a few moments to filter through it all. This is called processing time.

What can I do?
Give them a minute. Ask one question as simply as you can, and just wait. If you still don’t get a response, try rephrasing it or writing it down instead.

Sensory overload

What is it?
Autistic people can be sensitive to lights, sounds, smells and sights. This can lead to an overload – and a meltdown.

What can I do?
Make some space. Lots of little things can add up to an overload of sensory information. Little things from you can cut this down – try to avoid talking over each other, turn down music, or even just offer to dim glaring lights.

For more information and to find out ways to get involved visit The National Autistic Society website.