Today, on the first day of World Autism Awareness Week, the National Autistic Society has launched a new film and statistics as part of their public awareness campaign, Too Much Information, revealing the hidden isolation faced by many autistic people across the country.
The film follows an autistic woman who is so anxious about her train journey to work that she feels unable to leave the house at all. She becomes completely overwhelmed as she imagines all the things that could go wrong: delays, diversions and cancellations, loud crowds and the tuts and stares that come when her discomfort becomes visible.
According to a 2018 National Autistic Society survey of over 2,000 autistic people or parents responding on their behalf:
- 75% of autistic people say that unexpected changes, like delays, diversions and cancellations, make them feel socially isolated
- 67% of autistic people say that the public react negatively (stare, tut, make comments, roll their eyes) when they try to calm themselves down (flapping their hands or rocking back and forth) to unexpected changes
- 52% of autistic people said that a fear of experiencing unexpected changes has stopped them from going on a bus or train.
Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said:
At the National Autistic Society, we won’t accept a world where autistic people are shut away. We know that people don’t set out to be judgmental towards autistic people. The problem is that they often don’t see the autism, they just see somebody acting in a way that isn’t familiar to them.
“We can’t make the trains run on time. But we can all make a big difference this World Autism Awareness Week, by finding out more about autism and the small things we can do to make the world more autism friendly. We’ve got lots of ideas on our website and would encourage everyone to take a look.
Date added: 26 March 2018