‘Stand out for Autism’ – World Autism Awareness Week (2-8th April)

It’s time to ‘stand out for autism’ and help celebrate World Autism Awareness Week (2-8th April) by taking out a book or DVD from the Somerset Autism Collection at one of five Somerset libraries.

Autism is much more common than many people think, so you are more than likely to know someone who is autistic. There are around 700,000 people in the UK living with autism – which is 1 in 100. In Somerset there are an estimated 5,400 people living with autism.

Richard Crouch, Autism champion and Group Director of Operations at Somerset County Council said: “Raising awareness about autism is so important as we all have a role to play in ensuring that people on the autistic spectrum and their families and carers are able to live well with autism in Somerset.  A little understanding can go a long way and good information and hearing people’s experiences can help us all be more aware.”

The Somerset Autism Book Collections were developed with the aim of providing quality information about autism and to raise awareness and understanding about the condition.  There are five large collections in Taunton, Yeovil, Frome, Bridgwater and Williton libraries and then 31 smaller collections in the other Somerset Library locations. All titles can be reserved free of charge at any Somerset Library or at http://www.librarieswest.org.uk

These collections consist of a range of books and DVD’s about autism and will provide a dedicated information resource for people with autism and their carers and families following a diagnosis, as well as professionals working with individuals living with autism. They also provide a resource to the general public who wish to find out more about autism.

Somerset County Council and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group have also been raising awareness about autism working with BBC Somerset.  People on the autistic spectrum were involved in the programming and shared their experiences of life with autism through a series of short interviews, which includes the importance of getting a diagnosis, the myths about autism and how everyone with autism is different – you can view the story by following the related links http://bbc.in/1Ld32VB

Councillor Anna Groskop, Cabinet member, Health and Wellbeing, Somerset County Council said: “Feedback to date about the Somerset Autism Collection has been extremely positive with people on the autistic spectrum, their carers and families and professionals saying how useful the books and DVDs are and how much they value and appreciate having access to good quality information.”

For more information about the books within the collections, please visit http://www.somerset.gov.uk/autismcollection

Also visit The National Autistic Society Youtube and watch a great video showing how sensory overload affects a young child with autism in everyday situations.   www.autism.org.uk
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For more information, contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk.

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