29 March 2018

Pioneered by the National Autistic Society (NAS), World Autism Awareness Week aims to draw attention to the 700,000 people living with autism in the UK – both to educate those unaware of the condition, and to help make the world friendlier to those who are affected by it.

Autism Facts:

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 1001. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people.

Without understanding, autistic people and families are at risk of being isolated and developing mental health problems.

  • Autism is not a mental illness, it is a life-long developmental disorder or condition.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The Autism Act 2009, is the only disability-specific act passed by parliament and The Act makes provision about the needs of adults who have autism. (Reference: National Autistic Society  www.autism.org.uk/About/What-is/Myths-facts-stats)