Autism Awareness Week

This week, 26 March- 2 April, is Autism Awareness Week.

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Did you know that there are 700,000 people in the UK with autism and 2.8 million with a family member on the spectrum?  With that many families, you’d think it would be impossible to feel isolated and lonely, yet that is exactly how living with autism can feel.

The National Autistic Society has 1,103 support groups around the country – go to autism.org.uk/directory, type in your postcode and the words ‘support group’.  Their parent-to-parent helpline is 0808 800 4106.

If you don’t feel ready for a face-to-face support group, there’s plenty on the internet.  Look for mumsnet.com/special-needs or join Facebook pages like Autism Support UK.

Talk to other parents.

Ask your GP for a referral to the Children’s Services department of your Local Authority.  Bear in mind that budgets are tight and some councils are better than others.  Be prepared to fight for the support you wish your child or young adult to receive.

Seek support for yourself.  It needn’t be fancy; The Brainy One and I are fans of the humble walk in the park.  We have our best conversations there.   Keep a sense of humour.  Cry if and when you feel overwhelmed.  Start a blog.  Have a drink (in moderation).  Eat chocolate.  Read up on autism, both memoirs and the more factual stuff.  (See here).

Talk about autism openly and honestly.  Correct misconceptions.  Surround your child with people who love him, with people who strive to understand him and his quirks, with people who recognise that he is of value, with people who form and maintain a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with him.

Don’t allow demeaning or negative comments in front of your child or young adult.

Be his voice.

Be his advocate.

This week, 26 March- 2 April, is Autism Awareness Week.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Autism Awareness Week

  1. Ruth you alone have done a lot to bring Autism out of the shadow, I appreciate your openness & honesty as life unfolds for you, TBO & TBC. Thank you.

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  2. I love your honesty when you talk about the subject of autism, it must be tremendously hard to deal with on a day to day basis and your openness is inspiring. I think that gradually people are becoming more aware of the subject. There is a programme on CBeebies (oh how my television knowledge has changed since the arrival of Leo!) which is all about an autistic boy called Pablo and how he views the world differently and it seems to me to be very well done. I know it is probably too young to be on TBC’s television favourites so I wondered if you had heard of it?

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  3. The more I read on autism the more I become convinced that everyone is on the spectrum. It’s just that for some people it is more overwhelming than others. Mr M once turned to me and said “If they did tests on my brother I am sure he would he diagnosed as having autism” I looked at Mr M and thought about his “quirks” and nodded my head. This spectrum is very wide and while some of us drift around the outer edges there are some who have been born right in the middle. Now all we have to do is learn as much as we can and educate those around us so that they can pass on our knowledge and we can all be more aware…………………

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