Mark Lever looks at what it’s like to be autistic and examines the state of public understanding of autism
Most people have heard of autism now. But most don’t understand what it can actually be like to be autistic and the various joys and challenges autistic people will experience throughout their lives. Unhelpful stereotypes are still far too commonplace.
When things go wrong for autistic people and their families, the root cause is often a lack of understanding. It could be an autistic girl who has been unfairly excluded from school, a young autistic man who has never been able to find a job, or a parent who has spent years fighting for a diagnosis and recognition of their son or daughter’s needs.
On top of this, autistic people continue to face judgemental attitudes from the public – 87 per cent of families say people stare and 74 per cent say people tut or make disapproving noises about behaviour associated with their child’s autism.
This lack of understanding is holding back far too many children and in some cases pushing them and their families into isolation….