CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

What you can do to help someone with autism

PUBLISHED: 17:07 16 December 2014

Could you make someone happy this Christmas? Alice Cooke looks at the disorder affecting the lives of 1 in every 100 people and shares what you can do to help

Thomas Goodall got an early Christmas present last month when Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi sent him a video message. The nine year old from Southampton suffers from autism, and wrote a letter to Capaldi asking the actor for help following the death of his grandma in October.

His father Ross said: “He was beaming from ear to ear and couldn’t believe what he was seeing.” He went on to say that his son responded by smiling for the first time since his bereavement. The message has now been viewed over 800,000 times on YouTube.

This was a god-send for Thomas, and by all accounts helped him immensely, but what of the estimated 10,000 other autistic people across Hampshire? Do you know what autism is? Do you understand it? If you think this is patronising then you may be surprised to hear that according to the National Autistic Society, around 700,000 people in the UK may have autism – that’s more than 1 in every 100. And autism doesn’t just affect children: children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. Over 40 per cent of children with autism have been bullied at school. Over 50 per cent of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them. One in five children with autism has been excluded from school, many more than once. Nearly two-thirds of adults with autism in England do not have enough support to meet their needs. At least one in three adults with autism experience severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support. Only 15 per cent of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time paid employment. 51 per cent of adults with autism in the UK have spent time with neither a job, nor access to benefits, 10 per cent of those have been in this position for a decade or more. Heard enough yet? Feeling a bit uncomfortable? Good. We as a county could do so much more to support those among us who are living with the many challenges of autism every day.

Children and young people with autism spectrum disorders can find it hard to develop relationships, to understand other people’s feelings and the accepted social rules of communication. Everyone with an autism spectrum disorder has difficulties in three main areas: Social interaction - they appear indifferent to other people or don’t understand how to take turns. Social communication - they don’t fully understand the meaning of common gestures, facial expressions or tone of voice. Rigidity of thinking and difficulties with social imagination - they have a limited range of imaginative activities, possibly copied and done repetitively.

We all like to think of ourselves as Good Samaritans, but how many times have you stopped to consider what you might be able to do to help this Christmas? Or is it that you are aware but unaffected and therefore unconcerned?

Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition. Without the right support, it can have a profound, sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families. Why not pledge a little of your money, your time, or even just a moment of your thoughts this Christmas to the many children and adults across Hampshire that live with autism?

To find out more or to donate, go to www.autismhampshire.org.uk

***

Read on

Changing attitudes towards Parkinson’s

Tips to shed the extra Christmas pounds

Ask the expert - the truth about dental implants

More from Out & About

Fri, 10:42

Is this the ultimate city break? Winchester has it all: from ancient history to space exploration, plus cafes, cocktails, culture and countryside… But with so much to do, choices are going to have to be made

Read more
Fri, 09:55

10 of best photos of Hampshire shared on Instagram over the past week...

Read more
Mon, 15:25

Remember, remember… Here’s a quick round up of some stunning displays across Hampshire this year

Read more
Mon, 15:22

The community shop is thriving. Why? And what makes the perfect village store? We went in search…

Read more
Mon, 14:27

From Jane Austen to Karl Marx, our towns and villages have fascinating links to some of the biggest historical celebrities. Viv Micklefield follows in their footsteps with the help of a blue plaque or two

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Our guide to some of the best Halloween events on offer across Hampshire this October

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We round up 8 things you didn’t know about this little South Downs village

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Enjoy some easy walking around the Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve says Fiona Barltrop

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Monday, September 24, 2018

Head to the Isle of Wight to enjoy the charming villages of Brighstone and Mottistone, taking in superb views, an ancient monument and enchanting gardens with our new walks writer, Fiona Barltrop

Read more
Monday, September 24, 2018

With the centenary of the end of World War One commemorated this year, the reopening of the iconic Royal Victoria Chapel, part of our military heritage, is timely

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

This year Winchester’s Theatre Royal celebrates the 40th anniversary of its re-opening as a performance theatre

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

Avon Valley, Beer and Cake is the ABC of why Ringwood, a busy market town on the western edge of the New Forest, makes a quirkily clever choice for a break away

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Lego enthusiast Duncan Titmarsh has built his business brick by brick; from tinkering in his garden shed to internationally acclaimed sculptures

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search