Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is estimated to affect around 1 in 100 people in the UK, with a higher number of boys being diagnosed than girls. People with Autism tend to have difficulties with communicating and social interaction.
Studies have shown that early behavioural intervention can in some cases improve learning and communication in young children with Autism.
Signs of Autism in children
The NHS has put together a number of signs to look out for in children who may be suffering from Autism, these include –
- Delayed speech development
- Not responding to their name being called despite having normal hearing
- Little interest in interacting with others including children of their own age
- Preferring to avoid spoken language
- Avoiding eye contact
- Getting upset and anxious if changes to their normal routine occur
- Having strong likes/dislikes to certain foods
It’s important for schools to have a good understanding of Autism so it can be recognised by teachers and classmates allowing them to better understand and accept the condition.
Autism Awareness Events
The National Autistic Society is working hard to promote awareness of Autism with a range of events such as –
- Schools Autism Awareness Week, taking place 14-18th March 2016
- World Autism Awareness Week, taking place 2-8th April 2016
- National Autism Awareness Month, April 2016
In March 2015 West Sussex County Council launched its ‘Understanding Autism’ campaign, joining forces with local people with Autism to promote a better understanding of the condition and the challenges faced. They provide a range of useful information and details of events taking place in the local area.