Teacher and pupil from Heathermount school pose for Autism Awareness Week

The Disabilities Trust’s Heathermount School in Ascot has been raising autism awareness by organising a school assembly at St Francis Primary School in South Ascot. As part of World Autism Awareness Week Tracey Gillard, Teacher and Teaching Assistant, Michael Manley ran the assembly on autism awareness, sharing their professional and personal experiences.

In their presentation they talked about topics such as ‘what is autism?’ and ‘what it feels like to have autism’ which were presented by Michael. They also covered the myths and facts about autism:

Autism Myth - Every autistic person is good at maths, art and music.

Autism Fact - Many autistic people feel emotions intensely and can be overwhelmed by the emotions of others.

Tracey then ran a short exercise with the students, splitting them into two groups. One side were asked to talk whilst the other side shut their eyes to demonstrate the overwhelming sensations people with autism can have. They were then asked how it felt and said that ‘they felt left out and annoyed as they couldn’t see what was going on. They couldn’t understand what people were saying and some said it made them feel lonely’.

Heathermount has also been asked by Langley College in Slough to run professional development for their special educational needs and disability (SEND) department. Plans are also underway for the local Maloney’s Budgens shop on Ascot High Street to have a display about autism, further promoting autism in the community.