This week is World Autism Awareness Week and this April I’m therefore delighted to promote the incredibly important work of the National Autistic Society (NAS). One of my proudest moments as an MP was in 2016 securing autism in the teacher training syllabus. I’m also pleased to be an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism.
If you can, please find time to take part in the 10 Years On survey, which will be open until the 7 April. The NAS are holding this survey as part of our campaign around the 10th anniversary of the Autism Act. They want to find out what has improved in the last 10 years, and also identify what gaps still exist in services and support for autistic people and their families.
The National Autistic Society is committed to transforming lives, changing attitudes and creating a society that works for autistic people. They transform lives by providing support, information and practical advice for the 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as their three million family members and carers.
Since 1962, autistic people have turned to the NAS at key moments or challenging times in their lives, be it getting a diagnosis, going to school or finding work.
They are active in every nation in the UK. They have a free helpline, online community, 116 volunteer-run branches, 80 social care services and eight schools that reach people in every county. They also work closely with businesses, local authorities and government to help them provide more autism-friendly spaces, deliver better services and improve laws.
If you’d like to find out how to get involved with the charity visit www.autism.org.uk.
The National Autistic Society also provides resources for teachers to teach students about autism during the week. If you would like to sign up or would like more information about this, visit www.autism.org.uk/saaw.
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.
There is no known ‘cure’ for autism. This does not mean, however, that nothing can be done to help a person who is on the autism spectrum. Understanding of autism has grown tremendously since it was first identified in the 1940s, and as we learn more about the condition, more evidence-based interventions will undoubtedly become available.
Because autism is a ‘spectrum’ condition it affects different people in different ways. It is therefore very difficult to generalise about how an autistic person will develop over time. It is particularly important to realise that an intervention which works well with one person may not be appropriate or effective with another, and that there can be much controversy over what an appropriate and effective intervention might entail.
The characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations. Two people with the same diagnosis can have a very different profile of needs and skills.
There is a growing movement among activist adults who are on the autism spectrum who don’t think in terms of ‘curing’ a disorder but instead of celebrating diversity. This is not to suggest that autistic people or those with other diagnoses do not find life challenging, but that they frame autism within a social model of disability.
(If you’d like your group adding to this list please get in touch)
Contact: Lucy Ellis, Branch Chair, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent Carer support page & group. Regular coffee mornings starting soon.
Find them on Facebook.
Email is Nasblackpool.email@example.com.
There are so many ways to show your support for autistic people and their families. Choose your fundraising challenge by contacting the NAS on 0808 800 1050 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your fundraising activity.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about the work of the NAS. If you would like to find out other ways in which you can help, please visit www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer.