Autism is a life-long condition which affects a person’s understanding of the world and of other people. Everyone with autism is different and the autism spectrum covers a huge range. Some people with autism can lead independent lives. Others need lifelong care. In the middle, there are many thousands of people who need some degree of help. There are over half a million people in the UK with autism - that's around 1 in 100. If you include their families, autism touches the lives of over two million people every day.
When people with autism are given the support they need, it can and does make an enormous difference to their lives.
We are a charity, and we rely on the support of people like you to help us improve the lives of people living with autism.
Autism is more common than you think
Autism directly affects around 1 in 100 of the population, around half a milliuon in the UK. If you include family and friends, there are around two million people whose lives are touched by autism every single day. Due to the numbers of people affected, you will probably be directly affected yourselves, or will know someone with autism, or families who are affected. We are the leading charity in the West Midlands for people affected by autism.
Autism is often referred to as a 'hidden disability' . People with autism get nothing like the level of support they need. Eighty-two percent of parents and carers say that their son or daughter needs some level of daily support to live independently; only 2% say they would need no support to do so. 83% of those caring for someone with autism care for over 50 hours a week. We provide quality, value-for-money, autism-specific services tailored to the individual which can be life-changing for those families living day-to-day with autism.
Seventy percent of children with autism found it harder than average to make and keep friends and 42% of children with autism have no friends, compared to 1% of other children. Children with autism are also three times more likely to have mental health problems than other children. More than half of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them and only 30% of parents of children in mainstream education are satisfied with the level of understanding of autism across the school.More than 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school.
The legacy from the school experience goes beyond academic achievement. Confidence, social skills and aspirations for the future can all be set during this time. We believe that the earlier support is given, then the better the outcomes for people with autism. We work with families, schools and local authorities to enable children with autism to get the most appropriate support for their needs.
Autism doesn't just affect children. Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism . Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time paid employment. Fifty-one percent of the estimated 433,000 adults with autism in the UK have spent time with neither a job, nor access to benefits, with 10% of those having been in this position for a decade or more.
We work across all age groups and abilities, with projects providing direct support to people and families affected by autism, who are often marginalised and isolated. Your support for Autism West Midlands can enable many more people affected by autism to have fulfilling and rewarding lives.