Campaign highlights isolation of autism

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Too Much Information: The new campaign (main image) includes a poignant awareness-raising film (below)

A poignant short film has been released as part of a new campaign to engender a better understanding of what it means to have autism.

The film stars a young autistic actor who plays a young boy in a shopping centre who becomes overloaded by the sounds, crowds, noises and smells.

The Too Much Information campaign has been launched by the National Autistic Society (NAS) and comes alongside a report from the charity warning that poor understanding of autism is forcing those with the condition to live their lives in isolation.

The report – entitled Too Much Information: Why the public needs to understand autism better – includes a survey of more than 7,000 people and finds that 79 per cent of autistic people and 70 per cent of their family members feel socially isolated.

Furthermore, 50 per cent sometimes or often do not go out because they are worried about how people will react to their autism.
It also reveals how those with autism and their families have to put up with people staring (87 per cent have experienced this), people “tutting” at what they see as poor behaviour (74 per cent), and people judging them as strange (84 per cent).

More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and awareness of autism seems to be at an all-time high, with 99 per cent of the public saying they have heard of the condition. However, only 16 per cent of parents and carers of autistic people believe that the public understands how the condition affects the way people may behave in public.

NAS chief executive Mark Lever said: “It isn’t that the public sets out to be judgemental towards autistic people. They tell us that they want to be understanding but often just don’t ‘see’ the autism. They see a ‘naughty’ girl having a tantrum on a bus, and don’t know how to respond.

“So, we’re launching our Too Much Information campaign to help everyone in the UK to learn a little bit more about autism.”

Find out more about the NAS Too Much Information campaign online at www.autism.org.uk. To watch the campaign film, visit http://bit.ly/1MvCNkQ


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