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World Autism Awareness Week

April 2, 2020

This week it’s World Autism Awareness Week, established with the aim of spreading awareness and increasing acceptance of this lifelong, developmental disability which affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.

In support of the week, here are some tops tips, written by people with autism, published by the National Autistic Society.

People with Autism may:

  1. Feel anxiety about changes or unexpected events
  2. Be under or over sensitive to sound, smells, light, taste and touch – this is called sensory sensitivity
  3. Need time to process information, like questions or instructions
  4. Face high levels of anxiety in social situations
  5. Have difficulties communicating and interacting with others.

Any of these or a combination could lead to a meltdown or shutdown. As such, it is asked that people:

  1. Give people as much notice as possible about changes to plans or unexpected events
  2. Provide a quiet space to retreat to when needed
  3. Take the time to explain things clearly and give people time to process and respond
  4. When arranging social events, give plenty of notice and as much information of what to expect as possible
  5. Do not rely on body language or facial expressions as some autistic people can struggle with this.

 Support for people with autism

At this time of uncertainty, some advice and support for people with autism, including guidance on coronavirus and some tips for dealing with its impact, can be found here.

For additional support, the National Autistic Society has a helpline on: 0808 800 4104
(open 10am-4pm, Monday-Thursday, 9am-3pm on Fridays)

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