In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, we want to share some key learnings from awareness events organised by Unique, FDM’s different abilities employee network.  

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong learning ‘disability’, which affects both adults and children across the globe. Symptoms can include having slower reaction responses, missing social cues and heightened emotions. During this month, Unique hosted a virtual event where FDMers shared their lived experience of having Autism or being a parent or carer of an autistic child to raise awareness of this different ability and educate others. Topics discussed included knowing how to be more approachable to someone with ASD, communicate changes in a fast-changing business, and what to be aware of in social situations.

Some additional useful information: 
•    Changes can be difficult to adjust to for those with ASD and it may take a longer time than with non-autistic individuals 
•    Regular meetings to discuss things such as changes or low mood days can really help the autistic individual 
•    Being direct and providing lots of information can help the person get a better understanding of social and professional situations, whether they be social or professional 
•    Take your time when involving autistic people, don’t try to rush and oversimplify (e.g. sitting with the individual for 30 mins to discuss strengths and difficulties
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