World Autism Awareness Day 2012
Today, April 2nd is the fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day. Every year, for the past five years, organisations with an involvement in autism or in related fields such as Asperger Syndrome on this day celebrate the uniqueness of these conditions. Market research undertaken by the National Autistic Society in the UK a couple of years ago postulated that there were perhaps 500,000 people in the country with some form of autism.
Autism is very debilitating affecting the way that people with this condition interact and communicate with the rest of the world. They can find it difficult to make sense of the world around them and can be over-sensitive to sensory stimuli. A lot of research has been undertaken over recent years to try to understand these complex conditions. One thing that now seems certain, neither Autism or other related conditions such as Asperger’s are related to low intelligence.
Children on the autistic spectrum, may have a tendency to obsess on certain objects or subjects. Very young children, in our experience can become fixated with cartoon shows or television programmes, or indeed characters seen in these programmes. Some older children obsess about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, much to the vexation of their parents and guardians who struggle to keep up. We at Everything Dinosaur try to assist where we can. After all, we do supply a lot of dinosaur toys and games for autistic children. For example, one of the attractions of dinosaurs to children on the Autism Spectrum are the long names and all the complicated facts associated with these prehistoric monsters. Some children on the spectrum, seem able to retain vast amounts of information related to their favourite dinosaurs and can recite an astonishing amount of factual information about these prehistoric creatures. Team members send out fact sheets and pronunciation guides to parents/guardians who in turn pass these on to their charges. We handle enquiries, answer specific questions, provide advice, email over drawing materials, send out fact cards – all sorts of things as with some of our team members coming from a teaching background we recognise the importance of offering such support.
Today, on this special day our thoughts are even more with those sufferers and with their families, we celebrate the uniqueness of the individual.
The National Autistic Society (UK): National Autistic Society
Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on Facebook: World Autism Awareness Day on Facebook
True to our word, whilst teaching at a school in London one of the T As (Teaching Assistants) approached us requesting some assistance for her daughter who taught at a special school in the capital that catered for the needs of children on the autistic spectrum. Within 24-hours of our visit, we had emailed a teaching contact with a dinosaur themed alphabet and our own set of prehistoric fact cards that could then be forwarded on to the teacher concerned.