1 in 100 people in the UK have a diagnosis of autism and there will be thousands more individuals across the country living without a diagnosis. Autism Awareness Week, which runs from the 1st-7th April is a world recognised week that provides a platform for everyone to talk about this complex, life-long condition which affects the development of communication, social and life skills, affecting how individuals perceive the world and interact with others.
The extent of the autistic spectrum is wide-ranging, varying from profound severity in some to subtle problems of understanding in others. No two autistic individuals are alike as autism affects everybody differently and it can occur with other conditions such as anxiety, depression and learning disability. Regional charity Autism East Midlands are the largest autism specific charity in the region, supporting autistic adults, children and their families as well as businesses who want to make their environments autism friendly. As it stands only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment.
This year’s Autism Awareness Week, 1-7 April, will see Autism East Midlands host a variety of workshops and sessions across the East Midlands before holding a #SillySockDay on the 5th April in order to raise awareness of autism across the East Midlands.
50 businesses from across the East Midlands have signed up for #SillySockDay on the 5th April, in order to raise both awareness of autism and funds for Autism East Midlands. Schools and a variety of other organisations have also joined this awareness raising event. Places including Avant Homes, Leicester City Football Club, The Wilson Organisation and the Nottingham Panthers are pulling together to raise awareness of autism as well as raising much needed funds for Autism East Midlands. These organisations will be donning their silliest socks and sharing photos across social media, using #SillySockDay, in order to get people talking and learning about autism.
Autism East Midlands’ free workshops for the public to access across Autism Awareness Week are listed below.
1st April: Autism in Women and Girls at Derby Quad
2nd April: Drop-in information session at De Montfort University Students’ Union
3rd April: Family Support Drop-in session at Nottingham Community and Voluntary Support
4th April: Beanbags, Biscuits and Beyond at Rotherham Autism Hub
“Autism Awareness Week provides organisations such as Autism East Midlands a recognised platform to generate conversation about autism. Events, such as our Silly Sock Day, are a great way for those who perhaps have no connection to autism, to become introduced to the different way that autistic people experience the world. We are extremely grateful to all of the organisations, businesses and schools that have signed up to Silly Sock Day. Autism East Midlands works to encourage a world which recognises, understands and values autistic people, events that raise public awareness can only help make that into a reality.” Jane Howson, Chief Executive at Autism East Midlands.
To get involved with Autism Awareness Week then get in touch with the Autism East Midlands Fundraising Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The team will help you to either sign up for #SillySockDay, book onto one of the free workshops or help you to raise awareness in any way you would wish too.