The importance of education on World Autism Awareness Day

Today (2 April) is World Autism Awareness Day. As autistic people and their families share their experiences, the day highlights the need for better education and understanding of autism.

Credit: National Autistic Society on Twitter

AWARENESS

This week (1–7 April) is Autism Awareness Week and today (2 April) is World Autism Awareness Day. The week-long campaign is an opportunity to highlight the need for greater education and awareness on autism.

Autism is a developmental disability that affects how you interact with others and see the world. Autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be cured.

Autism is a spectrum condition, that means that all autistic people can share similar difficulties, but they will affect them in different ways.

Around 700,000 people in the UK are autistic, that is about one in every 100 people. People from all backgrounds can be autistic, but the condition appears to affect more men than women.

EDUCATION

World Autism Awareness Day is a chance to share facts, personal experiences, and remove the myths and stigma around autism.

The campaign utilises social media to help break down this stigma.

Using #WorldAutismAwarenessDay autistic people, their families and carers are sharing their experiences of autism and helping to remove misconceptions about the condition.

Celebrities and reality stars, including Love Island’s Niall Aslam, are also showing their support and sharing their personal experiences.

Niall spoke publicly about coming to terms with his autism diagnosis last year after he first appeared on the ITV show.

Autistic people sharing their stories and what makes them who they are is helping to improve education on autism and disability as a whole.

INCLUSION

Better education will lead to inclusion of autistic people in schools and everyday life.

Autistic children are often labelled as misbehaved or disruptive in schools with recent concerns about high levels of exclusions of autistic pupils.

Credit: National Autistic Society on Twitter

More awareness of the early signs of autism and how to support autistic pupils can make a big difference in the classroom.

Public support during awareness weeks like this one can help promote training, education and inclusion to policy makers and the general public.

GET INVOLVED

You too can get involved and show your support for World Autism Awareness Day.

Head to social media and share your personal experiences of autism using #WorldAutismAwarenessDay or to show your support for others.

Supporting charities and organisations like the National Autistic Society and Kerr’s Journey can help to promote education on autism.

You can also raise awareness by educating yourself with accurate information on autism. Share facts with colleagues, friends and family to mark the day.

What are you doing to mark World Autism Awareness Day? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.