In my coaching sessions this week I will be building awareness, donating money and assisting as many people as possible in learning more about Autism as part of World Autism Awareness Week (27 March – 2 April 2017)
The National Autistic Society states that at least 1 in 100 people in the UK have autism. Indifference and hostility towards autistic people and their families can lead to social isolation, mental illness and unhappy lives. Helping young people – and teachers – to understand autism will equip them to accept and empathise with autistic people.
In working with different education establishments, I hear regularly that staff have little or no specific training around autism and for me this is quite shocking. As our ability to diagnose autism spectrum conditions improves then perhaps autism training needs to be included as part of teacher training. If autism awareness and understanding was developed early on then new teaching staff would be better prepared for their classroom environment.
So many of my students with autism state that teachers, assistants and pupils do not understand them and think they are rude or weird. Just getting people to understand, that eye contact is not easy and sensitivity around sound and noise levels can be disturbing, would be a start. Socialising, integrating into friendship groups and sensory perception are other areas that need to be developed so that young people with autism can experience a happier school life.
If you know of somebody that is struggling in school and would benefit from coaching/mentoring then please contact me.
And if you can, please get involved with World Autism Awareness Week.