Autism Awareness Day

Happy Monday Peeps!

So today is Autism Awareness Day, so I guess I’m here to make you aware of it. 🙂

What is Autism?

The definition used by the National Autistic Society says:

“Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

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.”

Ok, so my version of that is as follows:

  • All the people I’ve met with Autism struggle socially; some are chatty and the struggle is less obvious, whereas others avoid eye contact and unnecessary chat, especially about feelings.
  • It does not usually affect them physically, though they may have additional needs or conditions that cause a physical disability.
  • Autism is a SPECTRUM: There are as many versions of it as there are people, don’t presume those on the spectrum are all the same. They are unique and special individuals.
  • People on the spectrum (especially children) need you to understand that they are not rude, they are not misbehaving, they are interested in different things and have passions and goals just like you do.

 

I have had the pleasure of 10+ years working with school children, many of whom have Autism (or Asperger’s Syndrome, which is on the spectrum). Children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) are often very particular about certain things, which makes them great at detailed work like model-building and if they have a passion for a particular subject, their knowledge of it will be immense! I doubt you’d get more information if you looked the topic up in an encyclopedia. 🙂 They do struggle to express their feelings but when they trust a person, they have a great capacity for loyalty and affection.

At the end of the day, they are unique individuals who want to get on with their lives and not held back by a label….I’m sure everyone can relate to that.

So I thought I’d share a bit of info and my thoughts to help you understand more about Autism…please go and research for yourselves, use the hashtag #AutismAwareness or ‘Light it up Blue’ (Google it; it’s an Autism Speaks awareness campaign). Also, some social media sites have added photo frames you can add to your pictures that show your support.

Have a good day my lovelies!

Anna x

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