World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year. There are events all over the world to raise awareness to improve the lives of people on the spectrum World Autism Awareness Day - EN | United Nations
The National Autistic Society have World Autism Week, they provide resources such as quizzes and information sheets to raise awareness. What is autism
Lifeworks consider Autism as a spectrum which includes many other conditions including OCD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia etc.
Poster Lifeworks Co-occurring Difficulties Autistic Spectrum
Lifeworks would like to show the Artwork and creativity our clients shared for World Autism Day. Please see our gallery in the link below.
World Autism Day 2021
Keele University Conference 2017
As part of our Big Lottery Project Lifeworks organised an Autism Spectrum Conference at Keele University which took place on the 5th October 2017. The purpose of this was to raise awareness and to help professionals, students and anyone else interested in autistic spectrum conditions to understand and engage with people on the spectrum more effectively. We endeavoured to highlight the challenges individuals on the spectrum face on a daily basis.
Presentations by our four speakers:
Dr Donna Berry (School of Psychology, Keele University).
Dr Pamela Wood (Snr Clinical Psychologist, Autism Spectrum Assessment Service).
Dr Luke Beardon (Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University).
Louise Zandian (Lifeworks CEO).
To end the conference the speakers formed a panel to enable a question and answer session. Donna's presentation focused on Autism and Policing, Pamela spoke about the Autism Assessment Service, Luke gave his thoughts on how unhappy autistic children can be supported to become happy autistic adults. Louise's presentation was about the development of communication support and mentoring for people with above or average IQ on the Autistic Spectrum.
The video below is Louise speaking during the conference.
Lifeworks Staffordshire on BBC Midlands Today talking about our funding issues and how Covid-19 can effect people on the spectrum more than others.
Louise Zandian (CEO), Janet Robson, Joan Blackhurst and clients interviewed at our premises in Newcastle under Lyme.
The Autistic Spectrum
A Better Understanding
The Autistic Spectrum is complex and diverse. We at Lifeworks hope the following information will help you gain a more in-depth understanding of this condition and those that may co-exist with it e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to name just a few.
See below how Autism and other co occurring conditions overlap
Autism – What is it?
- A developmental disability
- It can be referred to as an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). The ‘spectrum’ indicates the diversity of autism. Individuals will be affected at different levels and therefore experience problems to varying degrees. Some people will require considerable support throughout their lives while others live independently with minimum support.
- No two people are the same.
- The more able people on the spectrum (those with Asperger’s Syndrome) are considered to have average to above average intelligence.
- There are around 700,000 people in the UK on the Autistic Spectrum. Statistics show there are more males than females diagnosed with an ASC.
- There are three main areas with which people have difficulty. Collectively these are known as the Triad of Impairments. The triad consists of difficulties with communication, social interaction and social imagination.
- Many people on the spectrum have a very literal understanding of language. They can experience difficulties in expressing themselves.
Due to the ‘hidden’ nature of the condition it is difficult to recognise someone on the spectrum. People generally show no outward sign of disability, therefore some individuals are considered more able than they are. This of course, leads to confusion and misunderstanding. However, it is important to remember that people are all different and it is vital not to focus on the negative and what people on the spectrum find it difficult to accomplish but consider what they can accomplish. Indeed, many individuals on the spectrum make hard working, conscientious members of the workforce. Many famous people such as entrepreneur Richard Branson and television personality Guy Martin have a diagnosis. Individuals with extreme proficiency in certain areas are referred to as ‘Savants’.
What differentiates Lifeworks Staffordshire from other services? We are unique in that we look at all conditions that present in an individual, not just the autism. Staff and volunteers at Lifeworks have personal experience of autism and the way this affects individuals and their families. It is this aspect which makes us so passionate about the work we do. Lifeworks aims to help people to build strategies in order to navigate and improve quality of life. Individuals on the autistic spectrum need to be given the chance to reach their full potential.
This will not be achieved without better understanding!