…sensory overload, discomfort, frustration, unable to communicate…
Imagine you suddenly find yourself in a train station in downtown Beijing. The place is so noisy you can’t hear yourself think and no one speaks your language. All you want to do is get on a train and leave. Adam Harris, founder of AsIAm.ie told TheJournal.ie some time back. That’s an example of how an autistic person might perceive the world.
Autism – the Challenges
Now 21, Adam was 5 when he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism. Lucky enough to have been diagnosed as such an early age, Adam benefitted from early intervention, and so says he has lived a pretty ‘normal’ existence, but has always remained “acutely aware” of the challenges that having Autism brings to everyday life.
Autism is characterised by difficulties in social communication and interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication. For example, someone with autism might find having a regular conversation challenging, and might not understand social norms, such as personal space. Repetitive behaviour is another symptom of autism, where he or she might become focused on one particular routine or ritual.
Autism Awareness in Ireland
Believing that Irish society was in dire need of getting up to scratch on the needs, challenges and strengths of those with Autism, Adam set up AsIAm.ie. The non-profit offers practical information on Autism and acts as a support for those living with the disorder.
AsIAm Autism Workshops
The AsIAm Secondary School Programme encourages students to understand Autism better, creating a more inclusive environment for those with Autism. AsIAm workshops gives all students an experience of what it’s like to have Autism, in addition to encouraging them to think about how they could be more autism-friendly.
Get your school signed up today through https://www.changex.org/asiam