Autistic people need more engagement

Campaigners in Wales are calling upon the public to give room for more engagement and understanding of people with autism. It comes as the world marks Autism Awareness Week.

A man chats with a young man who has autism. Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Supporters, professionals and people with autism along with their families this week gathered at the Senned, Cardiff Bay, to discuss how this can be achieved.

The meeting was organised by Autistic UK and The Autistic Women’s Empowerment(AWE)Project.

Around 70 people attended the event that was held on Tuesday.

Willow Holloway, who is the founder of  the Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project, told Cardiff News Plus that she hoped the event could provide an open platform to discuss their  goals.

“We are to primarily ensure that people with autism’s voices are heard, to encourage co-production, engagement and participation,” said Ms. Willow.

The founder of Women’s Project, Ms.Willow Holloway. Photo: CNP.

Julian Morgan, the treasurer of Autistic UK, said what people with autism need the most is acceptance.

“They should be accepted for who and what they are, rather than people trying to change them and to make them fit in. People with autism should be seen as people, not as a burden,” he said.

According to Autistic UK, this year they decided on the theme Going Gold For Autism Acceptance.

The theme is intended for display beyond April. The idea is to have a common thread that runs through all groups, advocates and supporters that is easily recognized and comes from the autistic community.

Julian Morgan, the treasurer of Autistic UK. Photo: CNP.

In March 2016, as part of the refreshed Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan (ASD SAP), the Welsh Government announced that it would be funding a new
national Integrated Autism Service (IAS) to meet the needs of diagnosis, education, social care and employment support for people with autism.

According to the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan (Annual report 2017/18) there are still gaps in transforming additional learning needs, employment support and health care for people with autism.


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