National Autism Awareness Month
There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, which is why it is so important to spread awareness. Every year on 2nd April the UK takes part in World Autism Awareness Day. Events and fundraisers take place across the country throughout the week of 1-7th April aimed at raising money and awareness for those on the autism spectrum. It is a full 7 days where people from across the UK take part in various activities aimed at increasing awareness and money for the National Autistic Society. This includes individual and group fundraisers and organised fundraising activities such as the Spectrum Night Walk which is taking place on the 6th of April across the UK
How to Spread Awareness
The first step in spreading awareness is education. You need to ensure you are educated on the subject if you are going to introduce it to others. You need to start by doing research into Autism including what it is and the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments. Plenty of information is available online and through charities. If you know someone on the spectrum who would be willing to talk to you this can be an excellent insight into autism.
Spreading awareness is great but by getting involved you can do even more good both for awareness and funding. This can include things such as attending events and fundraisers. You can also choose to do your own fundraising whether this be part of World Autism Awareness week or all year round. Remember that autism exists all year not just through the week of 1-7th April.
If you are nervous or not entirely sure how you can get involved, or simply don’t know where to begin you can always donate to an organisation that does instead. As mentioned before this could be through fundraising or your own generosity.
Once you’ve educated yourself on autism you might be ready to do more. A great way to help out and get involved is through volunteering. There are plenty of fundraisers, programs and events being held to spread awareness which you can get involved in. Another way to volunteer is to take a look at charities or organizations in your local area and see if they need any help.
Support Autism Friendly Businesses
Some businesses go the extra mile to make those on the spectrum feel safe and welcome by reducing noise and crowds. Some companies and retailers hold autism friendly days or hours where they will be more comfortable and at ease. Some charities help businesses to be autism friendly by providing assistance and training.
Make sure that you are not spreading any false or misleading information. This is especially important when you are spreading awareness online as there is a breadth of incorrect information that circulates, and you don’t want to add to it. Social Media can be a great tool for spreading awareness but only when it is used correctly; you don’t want to be posting misleading information or information that may be harmful or upsetting.