According to the Office of National Statistics, it is estimated that in the UK approximately one in 100 children have autism. Even though this doesn’t sound like a huge amount it calculates roughly 100,000 children in the UK
suffer from Autism. 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from mental health issues, with 2.6 in 100 people in the UK suffer from depression. Many celebrities have opened up to the public about their struggles with depression, anxiety and autism, and the more it is in the media the more aware people are becoming of it. Read more on celebrities with disorders here.
In the UK there are specialist schools which children with autism can attend, where they tailor the teaching to maximise their development, whilst letting them feel comfortable. The teachers would have had experience with disorders and can help with a repetitive disorder and gain normal social interaction. It can also be a safe house, where you don’t feel like you are suffering alone, as a big problem with public schools is the emphasis on a child’s ability to socialise, and this isn’t as easy for children with autism.
Children with autism tend to struggle to make friends, due to their social inadequacy. Children are unaware that a child may have a disorder, therefore not understand why the interaction is abnormal. With the steady rise of diagnoses in the recent years, it has recently been announced that Sesame Street will be introducing a new character called Julia, who suffers from autism. This is a great way for children to learn about different interaction with different people, as Julia ignores Big Bird, which confuses him and he feels she doesn’t like him, but then it is explained that she just interacts a little differently. Julia shows certain behaviours of autism, and it is how the other characters deal with this, which will teach children.
The National Autistic Society has more than 110 branches which are run by volunteers to help and support those suffering from autism. They do not only offer support to those with autism but also they offer advice and emotional support to those who support someone with autism, as this is not an easy task and can be very draining. So whether you have autism or support someone with autism, you are not alone, there are groups, meetings, talks which you can attend to meet like-minded people going through the same experiences.