What? Jpg zirconicusso“Autism” is a word we all here a lot more often in recent years.

We have all probably heard the word and donated to the cause at one stage or another. Many of us know someone with Autism, while many more of us will be familiar with a celebrity or fictional character with the condition.

This is really positive as being aware of something is a really important first step to understanding it.  However it doesn’t stop there.

 

  • How many of us can actually explain Autism?
  • How many of us know what challenges people with Autism face on day to day basis?
  • How often do we meet someone with Autism?
  • What can we do to make things more inclusive for those with the condition?

These are just some of the questions we should all reflect on.We bet many of you guys can’t answer them and many more probably can’t answer them correctly.

At the same time around 1 in 100 people in Ireland have Autism. Think about that for a moment – think of everyone you go to school with, everyone in your community, family, extended family, colleagues and peers. We all know a LOT more than 100 people and yet we may not always think we know someone with Autism.

This is because even though many people with Autism go to the same schools, live in the same communities and do the same jobs as other people, the condition is invisible. People with Autism do not look any different to anyone else. As a result, many people choose not to talk about it because they feel there is a misunderstanding or stigma.

The only way to change things is to try to understand Autism. To talk about it with each other. To change our behaviours and attitudes so they are inclusive of everyone, because a person should not have to ask to be included.

That said, it can be difficult to do this if we don’t have all the information. It can be difficult to get the information when they are so many materials online which are confusing or unreliable.  If you know someone with Autism you may feel uncomfortable asking about it directly, or they may not want or be able to talk about it

That’s why we are here.

This is space by the Autism community, for the Autism community and for young people aged 16-22 to learn more about the condition. We believe young people can change things for people with Autism by bringing about an inclusive society.

Inclusivity starts with questions and those answers can lead you to make small changes, which make a big difference.

Take the time to #AskAsIAm using our question app or on Twitter and we will give you a clear, practical and easy to understand response. Please note, we can only answer general questions and can’t give advice or comment on individual cases

Remember there is no such thing as a silly questions!

Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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