World Autism Awareness Week: Stand Out For Autism


This year, for World Autism Awareness Week (WAAW) the National Autistic Society is asking the world to, 'Stand Out for Autism'.

World Autism Awareness Week

The week, which begins today is not only a chance for people to fundraise and support their local autism services, but it's also a chance to raise awareness for the condition.

Finding Support at WAAW

You may still be in the process of converting your statement to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or you may want to apply for an EHCP, this is a stressful time for you as a parent. Many parents may look towards events such as WAAW to connect with other parents, charitable organisations and education law solicitors for support on how to get through the application process.

We spread the word last year by doing our A to Z of autism highlighting some of the educational and behavioural issues that may occur if your child has a condition on the autism spectrum.

Getting your child the education they are entitled to is the first step on the ladder but what about when they leave school and either want to pursue higher education or get a job?

After the week of awareness, the following Autism Awareness Month highlights some of the problems autistic people will face and what we need to do to make a significant change. This is what we'll be concentrating on, particularly in the form of higher education and how the EHCP could make all the difference.

Getting a Job with Autism

The theme for this year's World Autism Awareness Day (Thursday April 2) is, 'Employment: The Autism Advantage.' According to the UN, 80% of adults with autism are unemployed. This is a major concern, especially for parents of young children who are in education and are not getting the help they need to succeed or parents who are still waiting for the right provision to be put in place. The UN state that the hurdles put in the way of people with autism such as a shortage of vocational training, inadequate support with job placements and widespread discrimination are making it more difficult than ever for people with autism to unleash their true potential.

An EHCP can be in place from birth up to the age of 25, if appropriate, entitling the child or young person to the vital support they may need if they have learning difficulties or other needs such as autism that require support over and above what a school can be expected to provide from within the resources usually available to them. If you consider that your child requires additional support in education in order to progress, you must ask your local authority to carry out a statutory assessment.

This is the first step in securing an EHC Plan. The authority may refuse. If they do, you can appeal their decision to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. You may wish to seek support from one of our specialist solicitors if you have any questions about this process. Whether you're participating in World Autism Awareness Week or taking it on for the whole month, we all should stand out for autism and make sure that no child gets left behind.

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