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World Autism Acceptance Week roundup

Tuesday 2nd – Monday 8th April was World Autism Acceptance Week, and people across Mirus got involved with and planned some exciting activities to raise awareness of autism, and funds for the National Autistic Society.  

 

Claire Dunkerton, Positive Behaviour Support and Autism Lead said:

“During Autism Acceptance Week 2024 Mirus celebrated the beauty of diversity, acknowledging Autism as a unique part of who we are. There were lots of vibrant community events that drew crowds and conversations to foster connections and understanding. We’re thankful for everyone who helped us understand and accept autism, making the world a brighter place for us all.”  

 

Autism is a processing difference – it is a different way of experiencing, processing and looking at the world. It is estimated that 1 in every 100 people are autistic – that’s 700,000 people across the UK. Autism is considered a spectrum, meaning there is no ‘typical’ autistic person, but autistic people often share similar characteristics, including:   

  • Differences in the way they communicate, understand and use language.  
  • Differences in processing sensory information, like sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, body awareness and balance.   
  • Differences in attention, processing information, learning and understanding.    

At Mirus we support many autistic people through the barriers that they may face in society – which can include healthcare, education, and employment. Like everyone, autistic people all have their own strengths, differences and likes – being autistic doesn’t define them. Rhys, who is autistic and is supported by Mirus, said:

 

“Autism is not necessarily a disability. It’s a manner of thinking as far as I’m concerned.”  

 

To celebrate the week, we had lots of events both raising awareness and money. In Brecon, we had an Autism Awareness coffee morning with a big selection of sweet treats and drinks and raised £52.96.  

 

In Cardiff, the social group held many events – on Monday they had a Meal Out Monday event at Slug & Lettuce, on Wednesday there was a Wellness Wednesday Move to Music event with Fitness Unique, and on Thursday they organised tenpin bowling at Superbowl.  

On Friday there was a walk and get together at Victoria Park where they organised a walk around the park and some lunch and on Saturday, they helped with litter picking for Keep Canton Tidy.  

The group wore bright colours and National Autistic Society t-shirts at all the events. They also carried banners, including one that used the handprints of people who attended the Cardiff Better Together event in its design. As well as making the banner, attendees at the Better Together event raised £60 for the National Autistic Society. 

Mark Griffiths, Support Worker and Community Network Coordinator, runs the Cardiff social group and said:  

 

“It’s important to raise awareness and to make people aware of the challenges autistic people face. At our Meal out Monday event at Slug & Lettuce, we told them what we were promoting, and they were fully behind us. 

“The Victoria Park Pub advertised our Friday event on their Facebook page as well. The whole week has gone really well, but the main thing is making people aware.” 

 

 

 

We also created videos for Autism Acceptance Week featuring some of the people we support who have autism, allowing them to share their thoughts and opinions. Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch the video.

Adam, who appears in the videos, said:

 

“Autism is sometimes like an ability for people to have their own skills.” 

 

Adam is a Mirus Representative for Bridgend and has been a fantastic ambassador for Mirus values, and his support worker Michaela Adams has played a huge part in this. She has supported Adam to travel across the country, delivering his message and always looks for reasons why Adam can do things rather than why he can’t.  

When asked about how important it is to encourage the people we support, Michaela said:

 

“It is very important we support, encourage and guide [people we support] into achieving personal life goals.” 

 

Leading up to World Autism Acceptance Week we attended the Neurodivergent Friendly Cardiff event to start conversations about how to make Cardiff more neuro-inclusive.  

We are invested in working with others to build a society that works for autistic people. All people should be able to access the right guidance and support to lead fulfilled, active and happy lives. We are hopeful that by raising awareness, we can inspire others to get involved and make Wales, as well as the world, more accepting.    

 

We’ve managed to raise £353 for the National Autistic Society, beating our £300 target. 

 

If you’d like to donate to our fundraiser for the National Autistic Society, please visit https://bit.ly/waawmark24 

 

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