This week, The National Autistic Society launched ‘autism hour week’ across the UK. Ninety-nine per cent of people have heard of autism, but only 16% of autistic people feel the public understand them.

So, as part of The National Autistic Society’s Too Much Information campaign, they are asking shops and businesses to organize an Autism Hour and take simple steps for 60 minutes that lead to a more autism-friendly world. 

The Sycamore Trust has launched a new project for pre-school children across Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. Starting in September 2018, “Speak With A Picture” has been funded by the BBC Children In Need and is aimed at pre-school children with a social communication disorder living within the listed borough’s.

On May 17th 2018, local autism charity ‘The Sycamore Trust’ released a statement regarding funding cuts implemented by Havering Council. Two of the trust’s Wednesday night clubs had been told to ‘shut down immediately’ after the local authority withdrew vital funding. Both youth clubs provided activities for children and young people with autism, and adults with learning difficulties.

“Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop.

Sunday 3rd of December 2017 marked International Day of Person's with Disabilities. To mark the day we interviewed Rainham resident Colin Nickless who spoke of his six year old daughter Ellie, who is diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, Autism and awaiting a diagnosis of ADHD.

1. Please introduce your child and tell us a bit about her;

On Wednesday 29th of March, day three of Autism Awareness Week Jon Cruddas MP hosted a coffee morning at Londoneast-UK, Dagenham East. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. 1 in 100 people in the UK have a diagnosis of autism.

On Monday 27th of March, day one of Autism Awareness Week, Havering Coordinator Fay Hough visited Tree Tops Day Project in Rainham. Tree Tops is a day project for adults with learning disabilities which opened in 2010. They provide a stimulating environment where people can participate in different activities and realise their full potential. Adults can leave site every day and attend leisure activities such as swimming and bingo, as well as learning important life skills such as shopping, cooking and hands on money skills.

On Monday 27th of March, day one of Autism Awareness Week, Havering Coordinator Fay Hough visited DABD in Dagenham to find out more about their services and why they play a vital role in our community. People may face barriers in life for several reasons – whether it’s disability (physical and sensory), unemployment, poverty, isolation, poor health and lack of work or training. DABD want to break down the barriers that can prevent people from living the life they would choose and encourage them to be as independent as they want to be.

Monday 27th of March to Sunday 2nd of April is the official Autism Awareness Week for the UK, with Sunday 2nd April officially marked as World Autism Awareness Day. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people.

This week Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham & Rainham took part in the parliamentary debate on Autism Awareness. You can find Jon's comments below. The full debate transcript can be found by clicking HERE

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