Today (2nd April 2012) is World Autism Awareness Day. Take a moment today to educate yourself about autism! Even if you only spend 5 minutes reading this post, you will now know that 1 in 100 people in the UK autism. That statistic includes the entire spectrum of autism from the most severe cases right through to the very mild end of the spectrum but it is important to remember that even a mild a social disability can and often does have a significant negative impact on an individual’s quality of life. That negative impact is often entirely avoidable and comes largely from lack of awareness and unintentional discrimination on the part of others.
Society is getting better at accepting and accommodating disabilities we can see from the outside but people who have conditions that are invisible from the outside, like autism, still face an unacceptable level of discrimination and social exclusion. A huge proportion of people who have milder forms of autism suffer bullying on a daily basis as this report published by ITV News this morning highlights. Education about autism and other ‘invisible’ but very real conditions is essential. No-one expects the world to become autism-centred but a little thought and tolerance goes a long way towards making it a better place for everyone!