Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum, which means there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK today.
How does Autism affect people?
Autism can affect how people communicate with others, and how they deal with sights, sounds and changes in their environment. It can present itself in different ways which means that not all autistic people will experience the same challenges and have the same strengths.
For some autistic people, routines can be very important to their everyday lives because it relieves the stress of the unknown and make life seem less overwhelming.
Some autistic people will be affected by overstimulation of the senses or sensory overload. Lots of loud noises, which some of us may not even notice, can sometimes be experienced in an entirely different way by an Autistic person.
Watch the short video below from the National Autistic Society.
- May need more time to process questions, requests and instructions
- May struggle meeting new people
- May struggle to pick up on unwritten rules
- May find work environments overwhelming
- May struggle with small talk and workplace/classmate relationships
Autistic people can have many strengths including:
- Intense focus
- Attention to detail
- A considered and reflective approach
- Honesty and integrity
- Creative thinking
How can we help autistic colleagues, classmates, friends and family?
As autistic people will experience things in different ways and have different challenges it is important to find out what help and support a particular person needs. Ideas include:
- Giving clear instructions and putting important points in writing
- Not relying on body language or facial expressions to communicate
- Giving someone who is anxious or agitated space and time to recover
- Offering to be a buddy for the person at social events
Help and Support at The College of Animal Welfare
If you are a student at The College of Animal Welfare and would like some additional help/support you can contact the Learning Support Team on email@example.com.
There are many organisations and charities that provide information, help and advice; a selection can be found below.
- National Autistic Society – https://www.autism.org.uk/
- Ambitious about Autism – https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/
Resources for autism – https://resourcesforautism.org.uk/