Marking World Autism Day

The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day takes place today (Thursday April 2nd).

Every year, autism organisations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.

Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support.

People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech, but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

Autism is often defined by its difficulties, but many report it can also bring benefits.

The cognitive strengths of some individuals may mean that they can focus on tasks without breaks in concentration, and individuals with autism report the enjoyment they get from their unique perspective of the world.

Autism Eilean Siar is a support group of parents, young people and adults who have Autism.

They are a voluntary organisation who meet every second Monday at the Newton Community Association Centre, 56 Seaforth Road, Stornoway to offer support and raise awareness of the conditition locally.

They champion full and inclusive lives for people with autism and the aim is that their collective voice can raise issues, highlight gaps and offer feedback to improve local services.

To find out more about the group email: autism.eilean.siar@gmail.com