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For many years we have welcomed and supported students with a wide range of learning difficulties and disabilities, so World Autism Week is something we are keen to participate in.

The Lewisham Supported Learning Team are busy preparing activities for the day (Wednesday 3 April) including games, quizzes, fundraising and more – all to raise awareness about autism and to help support the national charity, The National Autistic Society.

Both students and staff will be hosting the event, which was held on a smaller scale last year. This year is all set to be a much bigger affair. 

Geoff Saunders, a lecturer in Supported Learning, says: “This is an event that we want the whole college to get involved with. Our students are fully integrated with mainstream students, and we find that really helps build their confidence. 

“We’re now looking to let everyone know what autism is, and what it means for those who are on the autistic spectrum. We have a lot of incredibly warm, funny and bright students who have a lot to offer – so we are giving them the opportunity to meet everyone and show what they’re about.”

Facts about Autism:

  • Autism is much more common than many people think. There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK – that's more than 1 in 100. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people.
  • Autism doesn't just affect children. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults.
  • Autism is a hidden disability – you can't always tell if someone is autistic.
  • While autism is incurable, the right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to people's lives.
  • 34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on.
  • 63% of children on the autism spectrum are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them.
  • 17% of autistic children have been suspended from school; 48% of these had been suspended three or more times; 4% had been expelled from one or more schools. 
  • Seventy per cent of autistic adults say that they are not getting the help they need from social services. Seventy per cent of autistic adults also told us that with more support they would feel less isolated.
  • At least one in three autistic adults are experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support.
  • Only 16% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment, and only 32% are in some kind of paid work. 
  • Only 10% of autistic adults receive employment support but 53% say they want it.

Read more here:  https://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/myths-facts-stats.aspx 

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