So we are already 8 days into April. ~For those of you who hadn’t realised, April is a special month, not simply because it seems to be the start of a long awaited Springtime, but because it marks Autism Awareness month.
Studies show that 99.5% of people in the UK have never even heard of Autism.
Autism affects people in a variety of ways. It is a mental condition, present from early childhood, where individuals struggle with social interaction; communicating and forming relationships with other people. It proves a difficulty using language and abstract concepts.
I have taught many autistic children, who struggle to understand emotion. I have seen how these children are often unable to engage in imaginative play and subsequently find it difficult to form friendships. In the classroom, strategies must be put in place to ensure that a child on the autistic spectrum makes progress and is ultimately happy. Such strategies may be using short, simple sentences and instructions; stressing keywords or using pictures and symbols. Where autism is in the family, day to day family life can be extremely challenging for parents and siblings.
It saddens me deeply that 84% of autistic people say that people don’t know how autism affects behaviour.
The National Autistic Society do a great job offering support to those who need it and raising awareness. However, clearly there needs to more. Via the NAS website, donations can be made to help raise more support for families and individuals.
A very, lovely friend of mine is also campaigning to raise awareness and money for the charity. Through her Stella and Dot shop, she has set the challenge of selling 100 bracelets in support of Autism Awareness. There is a gorgeous range of bracelets that can be brought for £16 and 100% of the proceeds go straight to the National Autistic Society. Selling 10 bracelets will help 22 individuals through the NAS helpline. This helpline is paramount to parents who need to understand their child’s needs. It also helps children with autism receive the education and support they deserve.
Since partnering with the NAS in 2013, Stella and Dot have raised over £9500, together supporting over 1200 families.
The bracelets are so delicate and pretty and make lovely presents aside from them supporting a fantastic cause and here they are:
To purchase one of the bracelets, you can do so here.
As a bonus, everyone who purchases one of the autism awareness bracelets, will be entered into a draw to win a pair of sparkle studs and a citron cuff.
We need to make sure that autistic people get the understanding they need. So let’s hope that Stella and Dot working together with the NAS have raised enough support and awareness that those heartbreaking statistics will change drastically and families get the support they deserve.