World Autism Awareness Week

This week is World Autism Awareness Week and, as I wrote back in February, to raise money for the National Autistic Society I’m taking part in the Super7 Challenge.

Over the course of the week I’m cycling – 70km for the purposes of the challenge – but my personal goal is 200km. As I write (Wednesday evening), I am just under half way there – 96km cycled so far this week.

Track and Donate on JustGiving –

As this is an Awareness Week, I thought it useful to put some Autism facts and interesting information on the blog here:

  • According to the National Autistic Society, autistic people can:
    • feel anxiety about changes or unexpected events,
    • be under or over sensitive to sound, smells, light, taste and touch (this is called sensory sensitivity)
    • need time to process information, like questions or instructions  
    • face high levels of anxiety in social situations
    • have difficulties communicating and interacting with others
    • Read more on the National Autistic Society website
  • Around 700000 people in the UK are autistic.
  • The Maori word for Autism is Takiwātanga. It means “In his/her own time and space”.
  • Being autistic just means your brain works differently – You are born with it and have it for life.
  • Autism is a spectrum – People with autism can and often do, do well in the workplace. They could be in senior management positions and you wouldn’t know they’re autistic….But equally there are many who rely on lots of support. They could be non-verbal, and over sensitive to taste, smell, light to the point that day-to-day functioning is a real struggle.
  • Autistic people are more likely to have mental health issues than the general population; Autistic people are 4 times more likely than the general population to experience depression.
  • Only 16% of autistic adults are in full time work, and only around 21% are in any type of work at all.
  • Famous autistic people include Anne Hegerty (from ITV’s The Chase), Chris Packham, Guy Martin, Susan Boyle and Greta Thunbert. BBC Top Gear’s Paddy McGuinness has 3 autistic children.

“Now your mind is a room where twenty radios, all tuned to different stations, are blaring out voices and music. The radios have no off-switches or volume controls, the room you’re in has no door or window, and relief will only come when you’re too exhausted to stay awake.”

Naoki Higashida

It’s getting late now, so good night!


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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