Autism Awareness Week is from 29th March to the 4th April and is promoted by The National Autistic Society. World Autism Awareness Week is observed every year to raise awareness about autism and how it affects people.
This is the autism awareness ribbon. The puzzle pattern represents the mystery and complexity of autism (as often the condition is difficult to understand as there are so many different ways a person can be affected).
What is autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental condition, which affects how people communicate and relate to the world around them. This can affect how they talk to others and deal with sights, sounds and changes in their environment.
How can autism affect people?
Autism is called a spectrum condition.This means that, although people with an autistic spectrum disorder share some of the same difficulties, everybody with the condition is very different. Some children and adults with autism may also have additional learning needs, mental health difficulties or other medical conditions. Therefore, people with autism often need different types – and amounts – of support.
People with autism often see, hear, feel and experience the world differently to other people. This can make the world an overwhelming and sometimes uneasy place for those with the condition. Autism is a lifelong condition – people don’t grow out of it as they get older.
Often, people with autism find the world around them a difficult place.
Communication With Others
Some people with autism have difficulty understanding what others are saying and the language that they may use. Also, they may have difficulties in communicating exactly what they want to say. It is important to be clear with the things that you are saying around someone with autism and make sure that the person understands exactly what you meant.
Interacting With Others
Sometimes, people with autism find joining in at playtimes and within group activities very stressful. They might not always understand instructions or the rules of games that many of us take for granted.
For example, rules about how close to stand to someone, eye contact, how to end a conversation or what to talk about in social situations. Sometimes, people with autism may find winning or losing difficult to manage.
It is important to understand this and try to make these situations more comfortable by not forcing someone with autism to do something the way you do, if it makes them anxious. Respect that they have their own way to do things, which makes them feel safer.
People with Autism often feel like it is a part of their being. It is an important part of who they are as a person because it affects how they live their lives everyday. It affects how they behave and how they feel all of the time.
Routine and Changes
Often, someone with autism likes to stick to a routine because they like structure in life which reduces anxiety. Many people with the condition like to know exactly what is happening, when and where; they find sudden changes overwhelming.
Changes have to managed carefully for many people with autism. They may need lots of support to transition into a new class, to try a new activity or to visit a new place.
That is why it is so important that we understand as much as we can about the condition, especially if we have a person with autism in our school or family.