Autism Awareness Week 29th March – 4th April
Autism is a hidden developmental disability that affects how people communicate and interact. One in every one hundred people has autism and whilst it can affect individuals in a variety of different ways, it is often characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours and speech and non-verbal communication. Whilst autistic individuals may struggle with meeting new people and developing workplace relationships, they also bring many strengths to the workplace such as focus, alternative problem solving, creative thinking skills and attention to detail.
Everyone Health is committed to supporting all of our autistic colleagues and service users by being as inclusive as possible and by raising awareness of this hidden disability and supporting Autism Awareness Week.
The National Autism Society promotes fives things we can do to provide support.
- Autistic people can feel anxiety about changes or unexpected events so always try to give notice about upcoming changes to plans. Be specific about what is changing, why and what the new plan or rules are.
- Autistic people can be under or over sensitive to sound, smells, light, taste and touch, this is called sensory sensitivity. If you know someone who has sensory sensitivities then ask what you can do to help, it is mostly likely really simple like dimming lights, or allowing the person to wear ear defenders.
- Autistic people need clear communication and time to process information, like questions or instructions. Always use clear and direct language.
- Autistic people can face high levels of anxiety in social situations so make sure the way you are engaging suits them, if you are unsure ask.
- Autistic people can have difficulties communicating and interacting with others. Make sure you allow time and space if someone is feeling overwhelmed. And then think what can you do next time to help them feel less overwhelmed.
For more information on autism, you can visit www.autism.org.uk