It’s World Autism Awareness Week and organisations across the globe are holding events to raise awareness and give a voice to those who have difficulty communicating their feelings.
The National Autistic Society has teamed up with toy brand Playmobil UK to launch a film (see below) voiced by their ambassador, The A Word's Lee Ingleby. In the film, Playmobil characters are voiced by real people, who describe what they are doing during World Autism Awareness Week – and why. The figures say they raising funds through sponsored events like runs and bake sales, so that people with autism have their voices heard, get the same opportunities as others and can live in a world which works with autism. The figures then turn into real people.
Autistica, a UK autism research charity, called for more research to help people with autism. They are working with MQ mental health to fund research into links between sensory overload and anxiety in autism. With the University of Reading and lead researcher Dr Teresa Tavassoli, their three-year study aims to discover ways to reduce anxiety and understand sensory processing in autism.
Autistica say, “The project will follow 70 young children who have been diagnosed with autism from the age of 4 to 6 years. The research will consider how the children respond to sensory stimuli, by directly assessing their reactions, and ask the children’s caregivers about how their child reacts to the sensory world around them.
“Questionnaires, interviews and computer-based tasks will also be used to assess levels of anxiety and other mental health symptoms. The research will reveal the relationship between sensory sensitivity and anxiety, and how this may change over the early years of life.”
Meanwhile, we reported earlier this month how a Surrey Choices employment support specialist is celebrating after winning a prestigious award at the National Autistic Society’s Autism Awards 2018. Winner in the ‘Most Inspirational Social Care Professional’ category, Carolyn Tucker impressed the judges with her exceptional contribution to the lives of autistic people.
Carolyn helps people with a wide range of disabilities to find employment and said, “I am committed to fulfilling the dreams of all my customers. I hope I can continue to inspire other people and organisations - and give them some ideas about how they can make a real difference to a person’s life."
And we featured an article about the street dance group Autism with Attitude, a group of 12 to 15 young people with autism from Hillingdon Manor School, Uxbridge who are going to the United Dance Organisations (UDO) European Championships in Germany in May 2018. Dance teacher Jonathan Baron asked for the help of established dance troupes to raise money for the trip: and Boy Blue Entertainment, UMA, Definitive, IMD, Unity and all girl trio Code 3 lined up to take part in a benefit night.
Jonathan said, “All the artists I have spoken to are really proud of Autism with Attitude and are keen to show their support by giving their time and energy to make the fundraiser a success."
To take part in the discussion on World Autism Awareness Week, use the hashtag #WAAW and tag us in with photos from your events! @UCan2Magazine