AUTISM Awareness Week is celebrated across the world in a bid to remove a stigma around the condition.
In the UK, the Autism Society estimates around 700,000 people have the spectrum condition.
When is World Autism Awareness Week 2019?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome, that affect a person’s social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.
People on the autism spectrum may, for example, be under or oversensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
World Autism Awareness Week takes place from Monday April 1 to Sunday April 7.
The week was organised around the internationally recognised World Autism Day celebrations, which is marked annually on April 2.
People are encouraged to raise money and awareness for the National Autism Society (NAS) and encouraged to take part in a variety of fundraising activities.
On Autism Awareness Day, April 2, the United Nations urges people to “speak out against discrimination” and commit to fully include people with autism.
What is the theme?
Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS described the week as a “unique time for everyone” from teachers to politicians.
“Almost everyone has heard of autism now but we continue to hear from autistic people and their families who miss out on an education, struggle to find work or become extremely isolated, often due to misunderstandings about autism could transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of autistic people.
“We encourage everyone to visit our website, watch our new film and learn about the big five things autistic people and families tell us what they want the public to understand.”
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For schools, the NAS has provided a range of free learning resources that include engaging films and tutor sessions for children to learn about autism.
At workplaces, the charity has designed a range of posters that contain some fast facts about the condition, and tips on how to support autistic colleagues.