Autism Awareness Week with The Friday Night Project

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Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, that’s more than 1 in 100.¬†The¬†National Autism Society¬†goes on to say‚Ķ

”¬†Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured‘. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Autism is a spectrum condition. 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 conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people¬†on the autism spectrum¬†learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.”

Celebrated from the 30th March-5th of April every year Autism Awareness Week sheds light on the autistic community with the emphasis to help educate, support and develop an understanding of the way in which autistic people see the world. Hedge End Town Council reached out to our very own Friday Night Project an additional needs youth group run by Youth Team Leader Sarah, to share their thoughts on autism and how they view day to day life, from education to work.  

Last year the National Autistic Society ran a survey across more than 7,000 autistic people and their families to ask them how public attitudes towards autism and autistic people have changed over the past 4 years.

While the situation seems to be improving, there are still more than 60% autistic people that think that people they come across don’t understand how autism can affect someone’s behaviour.

So when asked what are the key things that they would like the public to know. Below are the top 5: 

Autistic people 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.

Download some top tips to follow as a member of the public here.