This month is Autism Awareness month, a global initiative aiming to increase awareness about autism. World Autism Day was first held by the United Nations in 2007 and fell this year on April 2. Events around the world included the Light It Up Blue campaign where famous buildings and landmarks were illuminated including the Sydney Opera House, Pyramids and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
In the UK, there has been plenty in the papers looking at special events happening around the country.
This week there was coverage of “autism-friendly” arts performances including the Lion King in the West End, reported to be the first of its kind in the West End. There was a specially adapted musical designed for audiences of young people with autism, with the Oxford Playhouse putting on a performance of Spot’s Birthday Party where audiences can come and go as they please and make noise if they wish. There were also autism friendly screenings of films, including Toy Story 2 in Inverclyde and The Croods in Darlington.
Art exhibitions have also opened to mark Autism Awareness month, including at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch, where work from young people and adults with autism is on display. On the Isle of Wight, the Dimbola Museum and Gallery has a display of work by artists with autism. On April 2 the Wirral Young Theatre and Wirral Autistic Society joined together to stage an evening of dance, drama, music and visual arts to celebrate World Autism Day.
Many of our ASLTIP members, list working with clients with disorders on the autism spectrum. Speech and language therapists are often involved with multidisciplinary teams working with children and adults with ASD. Therapy may begin before school entry. The following may form part of therapy for clients with ASD:
early listening and attention skills
social skills alternative ways of communicating (e.g. PECS, signing, use of electronic communication aids)
understanding and using language.
If you are looking for a therapist specialising in working with clients with ASD, you may wish to discuss the following with the therapist:
how much experience the clinician has working with clients with ASD
the therapist’s special credentials in the area of ASD
if your child or family member are already involved in a special programme, you may wish to talk to the therapist about that
where the therapist will see the client for the assessment and therapy
how much the therapist charges for assessment, reports and therapy
More information is available on the ASLTIP website, and you can search for a therapist that works with clients in your postcode.
ASLTIP’s membership has been growing rapidly since 1989. We are a support organisation run by our members. The executive board is always grateful for new members and new ideas.Apply for a membership