We are all different, we may share similarities but there isn’t a single one of us that is the same. Difference is something which should be celebrated, no matter what that difference may be. We are each unique in our own right. After all, if we were all to be the same, the World would be a rather boring place to be.
This week is ‘Autism Awareness Week’, today being the key day within that week to highlight autism, raising awareness of the condition.
As part of ‘Autism Awareness Week’ my children and I took part in a sponsored walk to raise funding for a local autism support group. Along with the School staff and children, we donned our rainbow colours and took ourselves for a stroll down by the shore to show our support for the cause.
Most of the Schools within our local area also took part within the £1k for 1k walk and with a little luck we will have gone above and beyond the original target.
Autism is something which I have had a keen interest in researching over the years, partly as I’ve spent time training within Education but mainly because our son J was diagnosed with the condition a few years back. It’s fairly likely that our daughter E may follow suit but as of yet its early days in identifying whether or not this will be the case.
What Is Autism?
- Autism is a spectrum of developmental conditions, this includes Asperger’s Syndrome
- Autism alters the way in which people think, communicate and experience the World around them.
- Each autistic person is different. Some may be able to learn, to live and to work independently whereas other autistic people may have learning difficulties or co-occurring health issues which require specialist support.
Signs/ Symptoms of Autism
Autism can be diagnosed at any age and can affect both males and females. Common symptoms/ signs of autism include:
- Delayed or absent speech
- Problems with listening concentration and understanding
- Frequent repetition of words, phrases or sounds.
- A ‘literal’ understanding of things. For example if someone were to be told that “it’s raining cats and dogs outside”, they may believe precisely that and expect to see cats and dogs literally falling from the sky. This can make humour and sarcasm almost impossible to grasp.
- Difficulty sensing or interpreting people’s feelings/ emotions.
- Difficulty expressing feelings/ emotions
- Over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to senses (sound, touch, taste, smell, light)
- Ritualistic or repetitive behaviour
- A dislike of change (such as altering routines)
- Making friends and socialising may be challenging
If you’ve met one person on the Autistic Spectrum, you’ve literally met ONE person on the spectrum!
Each and every person with autism is entirely different. Autism affects each individual differently, it also ranges in terms of severity (high or low functioning autism). No one person with Autism is the same as another, if you happen to have met someone with Autism, you have met just one person on the spectrum, each and every individual/ case differs.
Let’s Celebrate Our Differences!
Given that autism is something which I class myself a bit of an expert upon having undergone years of research, that and experience, I thought I ought to share a little information with you to raise awareness of Autism and to shed a little light upon the condition for those of you who may not be ‘in the know’.
Let’s use this time and opportunity to raise awareness of Autism and to celebrate our differences.
For further information upon Autism / Autism awareness week visit www.autism.org.uk