Autism Awareness Week 2021

Last week was Autism Awareness Week 2021, a week that was created to raise awareness of autism and educate people on how it affects those who are autistic. Autism is a major area in the work we do and the people we serve. At Sussex Empowered Living we believe that if more people were aware, educated and understanding of autism, then we may be able to make the world a friendlier place for autistic people to live.

This week Sussex Empowered Living wanted to give our case workers and autistic service users the opportunity to have their voice heard and be empowered. To raise questions that needed answering and unearth answers that needed sharing. Autistic people face challenges and difficulties in their everyday life, whether that be with day to day tasks, self-expression, or socialising. But these challenges do not define autistic people, they are more than their diagnosis. Often because they may navigate themselves through the world in a way that differs to a neurotypical person they can be misunderstood and discriminated against. What people must understand is that everybody’s reality differs, and this is okay. This is why awareness and education around autism is crucial in the journey towards inclusion, equality and equity for all. This is the simplest way to stop misunderstanding and prevent it from repeating in the future.

Sussex Empowered Living asked “What stigmas would you like to bust around autism? What is something you wish everybody knew about autism?”


Our Service User D said….

“I wish more people could understand autism and avoid making assumptions about our capabilities (thinking we’re not as capable as everyone else), because everyone is unique and just because some people have autism doesn’t mean they should be discriminated against”.

Our Caseworker T said….

“I think that some people may think that other conditions cannot coexist within autism. Those individuals may not believe in comorbidity, and therefore see an action of someone autistic and assign the reasoning for this action as their autism. They may be unable to see or recognise the potential other diagnoses, for example an autistic person who has anxiety may not be able to receive the medical or holistic support they require for this, as their anxiety is attributed to their autism instead”

Our Caseworker M said….

“I would say some people think that autistic people are not sociable, but this is not true in many cases. Autistic people can socialise in their own way, even if this may appear differently to how neurotypical people generally socialise. Although some autistic people may find it hard to build relationships because of this, if and once they do create these bonds they shall cherish and maintain that relationship”.

It could be said that people judge what they do not understand. If everybody took the responsibility to educate themselves on autism, then compassion can begin to thrive. Education will always be key in the journey to equality and equity for all.



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