World Autism Acceptance Week March 28 – April 3, 2022

It is estimated that there are around 700,000 people in the UK who are Autistic which is more than 1 in 100. If you also consider families, then Autism is part of daily life for around 2.8 million people.

In 2009, the Autism Act was introduced which was the first disability-specific piece of legislation in England. The aim of the act was to address multiple social disadvantages and health and care inequalities that Autistic adults face.

Two adult Autism strategies has also helped to improve the lives of many Autistic people across the country, however, there is still a lot more that needs to be implemented and we still need more awareness and acceptance to continue to improve the lives of Autistic people and their families.

The vision for the next five years for Autistic people:

  • Improve understanding and acceptance of Autism within society
  • Improving Autistic children and young people’s access to education and supporting positive transitions into adulthood
  • Supporting more Autistic people into employment
  • Tackling health and care inequalities for Autistic people
  • Improving support within the criminal and youth justice systems

Out of all groups of disabled people, Autistic people have the lowest employment rates which highlights many problems for not just gaining employment, but also staying employed. And whilst many Autistic people want to work, just less than 22% of Autistic Adults are in any form of paid employment.

I was diagnosed as Autistic only a few years ago. It came as a shock mixed with relief and frustration, (from not being understood my entire life). Although I do have difficulties, I want to highlight some of the positives that being Autistic brings to my life.

I am kind, caring and empathetic. Someone who is trustworthy, honest and reliable.

I have great resilience and I love to learn. My curiosity is helpful to understand the bigger picture and the “why’s”. I love to help people and feel my own lived experiences have given me the insight and understanding to connect with others. I love to laugh and make others laugh too and have a great sense of humour (although my jokes are pretty bad). I have always worked from being very young and I am now also an Autism Champion through my work.

So, for Autism Acceptance week, please join me in helping to make a positive difference for Autistic people and everyone who cares for, loves and supports them. Fully embrace and acknowledge difference and help to create more acceptance and unity.

You can find out more about Autism from places like the National Autistic Society

You have already started to make a positive difference just by taking the time to read this!

Thank you, Joanna Long (Wellness Service Health Coach)

World Autism Acceptance Week March 28 – April 3, 2022

Refer to the Wellness Service