Yesterday Great Oaks Psychology Services attended the first ever Leeds Hidden Talent Employment Fair. It was a fantastic day and great to be part of such an uplifting event. We had our own stand and spoke to lots of lovely people about Great Oaks Psychology and the services we offer.
We enjoyed a number of inspirational talks from organisations like The National Grid and Yorkshire Water, who spoke passionately about their positive experiences of employing people with autism. Dr Elizabeth Guest (Founder of Aspiedent) gave an engaging and insightful talk about the many social and communication struggles faced by people with autism in the workplace.
Despite the many organisations that are working hard to create more opportunities for people with autism, the statistics tell a worrying story that as a society we need to do so much more to accept and support people with Autism.
Autism is much more common than many people think. There are over half a million people in the UK with autism – that’s around 1 in 100.
• Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school
• Over 50% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them
• At least one in three adults with autism is experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support
• Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time paid employment
• 51% of adults with autism in the UK have spent time with neither a job, nor access to benefits, 10% of those having been in this position for a decade or more
• 61% of those out of work say they want to work
• 79% of those on Incapacity Benefit say they want to work
(Stats taken from the National Autistic Society website)
What can I do?
Learn more about the autism – increase your own knowledge about the unique struggles people with autism face. The National Autistic Society website is an amazing resource. So much of the stigma surrounding autism is deep rooted in a lack of understanding.
If you are an employer and in a position to offer employment, think about giving someone with autism a chance. This could be a life changing opportunity for someone and a massively rewarding experience for yourself.