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Call us
Call us
S. London Office
South East Office
0800 03 08 009 Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00 Innovation centre Highfield drive, St Leonards, East Sussex. TN38 9UH
0208 968 0812 Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00 Unit 6, Pilton Estate, Pitlake, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 3RA
01273 076512 Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00 The Barn, 3 North Court Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 2AR
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Living with autism 24/7: How can autism awareness help people with autism?

Autism Awareness Month encourages us all to educate ourselves and others about autism – dispelling myths and misconceptions. Autism Awareness Month is an annual event taking place throughout April.

 

What is Autism Awareness Week 2024?

Autism Awareness Week, also known as Autism Acceptance Week, is part of a month-long event that raises awareness of how people with autism are marginalised by society. Autism Awareness Month encourages us all to educate ourselves and others about autism – dispelling myths and misconceptions.

 

When is Autism Awareness Month 2024?

Autism Awareness Month UK is an annual event taking place throughout April. Autism Awareness Week takes place from 2nd to 8th April 2024 – just after this year’s Easter weekend! This year’s Autism Awareness theme from Autism Speaks is Light It Up Blue.

In the spirit of Autism Awareness Month, we want to educate others about autism and the importance of a positive home life for those affected by it. Because even after World Autism Day on 2nd April, we want to celebrate Autism Awareness all month.

Decorative: Autism Awareness Month image. Letter blocks spelling 'Autism' are displayed on a colourful polkadot coloured surface.

Autism Awareness teaches us how we can enable people with autism to succeed

According to the National Autistic Society, the autism spectrum disorder is ‘a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world.’

Autism doesn’t affect everyone the same, so every person with autism should be treated as an individual. Your characteristics might mean you need a unique care plan that meets your specific needs and we, for example, take this care plan into consideration when shortlisting properties for a tenant with autism to live in.

It’s important that people with autism have a voice and feel heard. Listening to their feelings and understanding what makes them safe and comfortable is crucial for supporting them – not just for us, but for anyone in a person with autism’s life.

 

The importance of a positive home environment when you live with autism

Some people with autism are overstimulated by certain senses. Processing sensory information that many of us take for granted can be challenging for them. Overstimulation can cause anxiety or pain, which may be distressing. It’s important that an autistic person with these problems can live at home without being triggered by their senses.

Asking an autistic person about any sensory issues affecting them could go a long way in making them feel comfortable and safe. For us, we make sure to take this into account when providing homes for people with autism. Autism Speaks has many resources to support people with autism.

What might an adult with autism get distressed by?

  • Their social or physical environment
  • Compounding mental or physical health issues
  • Changing their routine or circumstances
  • Difficulties communicating

 

How can a person with autism feel included in their community?

It can be lonely living with autism if you don’t get the support you need. This sometimes happens because autism can go undetected for many years. Evidence from the NAS shows at least 1 in 3 autistic adults experience severe mental health issues due to lack of support.

Someone with autism might feel excluded from their local community or certain hobbies because they aren’t supported with their disability. It’s crucial for those people to access and use professional support and enrich their lives with hobbies, passions and interests.

We all need to pursue interests to maintain happiness and wellbeing and people with autism are no different. Enjoying these hobbies with others can boost your mood and fight off loneliness, depression or anxiety. Having autism doesn’t stop you from enjoying things like sports, dancing, reading, music or anything else!

Jessica-Jane Applegate, a Paralympian with Asperger’s and Mencap ambassador, became the first British swimmer to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. She claimed victory in the S14 200m freestyle at the 2012 Games in London. Now, she owns a staggering 7 medals. In interviews, Applegate has talked about how her coach creates a routine with her that meets her needs as a person with an intellectual impairment: “We have a timetable for everything, so I have a good routine. We make plans to keep calm and we always have a backup plan, so I feel safe.”

 

The importance of good support services when living with autism

“Social workers can make a difference to autistic adults by working with and alongside them. Good social work can enable autistic adults to get the assistance they need to manage how autism affects them.”

– Godfred Boahen, British Association of Social Workers (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)

 

How can I support someone with autism?

  • Be patient and allow them time to communicate; build a relationship that lets them process information and make decisions for themselves.
  • Stay on topic if possible; don’t stray from the purpose of a conversation.
  • Collaborate with the person to create a personalised plan; ensure their strengths, needs and wishes are all met.
  • Find out and respect any preferences for how they refer to their autism.

 

How we help people with autism every day

At Zetetick, Autism Awareness isn’t just a trend for us. It’s something we are passionate about practicing all year round.

We want to increase awareness of autism alongside our mission, enabling others to consider the impact autism has on individuals’ daily lives and how they can help people with autism feel more at home, wherever they are.

Autism Awareness can be an eye-opening experience, as you learn more about the daily struggles people with autism face and discover how you can make a subtle but important impact on their everyday life. It makes our local communities more inclusive and enables us to change long-held stigmas that marginalise vulnerable people from our society.

At Zetetick, we work towards this aim as part of our vision. We put our tenants with learning disabilities or autism first and empower them to make decisions about their housing and care.

Our BEDROCK values form the foundation of how we work. With these in mind, we operate with compassion, kindness and care in how we find our tenants a home that meets their unique needs.

 

Useful resources and references

Author

Avatar of Zak Georgiou
About the author

Zak is a Marketing, Engagement and Development officer for Zetetick Housing Charity.
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