It’s World Autism Awareness Week! Pioneered by the National Autism Society, this is a week for raising awareness, breaking stereotypes, and participating in fundraisers, challenges and competitions.
In the UK, about 1 in every 100 people are on the autistic spectrum, that’s 700,000 individuals! Unfortunately, many people with autism face barriers in their every-day life, whether in education, at work or within the wider community. Although the number of students with autism that progress to higher education is increasing, Autistic students are still less likely to complete their course than their classmates, with over 25% of Autistic graduates facing unemployment in the future.
So what’s going wrong?
Only 39% of students on the Autistic spectrum receive support during their studies at UK Universities. Without this support, students may struggle with things like routine, social interactions, completing deadlines and participating in lectures. This could be a result of students with Autism feeling uncomfortable and unsupported in disclosing their disability, unable to receive the support they deserve. Unfortunately, a lack of awareness and understanding of autism can also leave students being excluded from university activities and discriminated against, resulting in isolation and loneliness. Without recognition of the challenges people with ASC face, students are not offered reasonable adjustments that can support them in completing their studies.
Let’s change this!
By raising awareness, improving educational settings and changing attitudes towards Autism, all students on the Autistic spectrum can have the chance to succeed in higher education! To get involved in World Autism Awareness Week, visit www.autism.org.uk