AUTISM UNSEEN is a National Charity with 3 principle mission statements:
To create more awareness with regard Social Exclusion for individuals suffering from autism. This current lack in the understanding of autism leads to a variety of problems, from inappropriate responses to poor services and provision. Developing a greater awareness of autism and its associated problems is vital in building a better future for people suffering from autism.
To create more jobs for individuals suffering from autism – Our research shows that many potential employers, particularly the smaller employers are nervous with regard employing young adults with autism. This is not because they do not want to employ them, but because they do not fully understand the needs and capabilities of these individuals. Autism Unseen will run a series of workshops to help inform potential employers that are many autistic young adults, more than capable of delivering a full days work, with minimal supervision, and that they can very quickly become an essential part of the workforce, guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone they come in contact with.
To create opportunities for autistic individuals to boost their confidence and to show the world that they also have dreams and ambitions – Our task is to take these autistic youngsters and help them build self confidence, to make them believe that they can achieve great things. Our trip to Kilimanjaro is the first of many events that we will be running. For an autistic individual to succeed in climbing Kilimanjaro, it will be the equivalent of winning a gold medal in the Olympics.
AMANDA RILEY – CHAIR PERSON
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR PERSON – Autism Unseen will be targeting schools, colleges and universities, to provide the younger generation, with more details on autism and to show them how to deal and respond to people with these disorders. By targeting this generation, we will also get our message across to the parents, and therefore to an older generation, that may not be fully aware of what it is like for someone to suffer from any of these disorders. Similarly large and small companies will be targeted to put the message across that an autistic young adult can easily be integrated into the workforce, and become an essential part of the team. These youngsters are often remarkably focused and when given a task, you will be hard put to find anyone who can do it better.
Each year we will endeavour to create a challenge that will help change and shape the lives of a number of autistic individuals. Our Kilimanjaro Challenge was a resounding success, an epic adventure and a trip of a lifetime for a team of young autistic individuals, who successfully climbed the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Our next challenge is equally awe-inspiring ‘The Autism Unseen Tall Ships Challenge’ where we will be taking teams of autistic and special needs individuals, accompanied by team buddies, and sailing them 1,675 miles around the UK in a 70 foot Challenger Racing Yacht, more details of which can be found on the Tall Ships Challenge Page.
Fund raising is vital in order to provide this awareness and create these challenges. We need money in order to deliver our mission statements to business, schools, universities and the general public. Unfortunately autistic disorders are in most cases unseen disabilities, yet they are just as real as any physical disability. Please use our donation link on our Home Page to help contribute to our charity.
85% of Adults with Autism in the UK are not in Full Time Paid Employment
61% of Adults with Autism in the UK, who are out of work say they Want To Work
79% of Adults with Autism in the UK, who are on Incapacity Benefit say they Want To Work
AUTISM UNSEEN – OUR STORY
Autism Unseen was set up a number of years ago to create more awareness regarding autism at school and college level. My son, who is severely autistic, had been placed in a mainstream school where he was bullied relentlessly, he had no friends and experienced totally different levels of understanding from teachers with regard his condition. Many parents with autistic children will agree that any fall-out surrounding treatment received during the school day will not happen within the school, it is generally bottled up by the child and brought home. Parents then have to deal with their autistic child going into total meltdown; in our case this resulted in self-harm, low self-esteem and violence that often went on for hours. The home and not the school became the safety valve, where the child would take out the frustration of being different and ostracised by other children.
I believed a better understanding was needed by parents, teachers and pupils with regard how to address this disability. Children can be scared to approach or befriend an autistic individual, it is stepping into the unknown for them and it is generally much easier to be friends with non-autistic children. If ever you visit a secondary school you can generally spot the child with autism, it is the one wandering around the playground during breaks, totally on their own, no one to chat too, no one to kick a ball with or play with. It is a distressing sight for any parent and is a problem within society that needs to be challenged and addressed.
So Autism Unseen was born, a national registered charity, originating in North Lincolnshire, with a board of trustees from around the country.
My son Charlie is now a valued member of the Tesco workforce and a motivational speaker for the charity. Previously we managed to find a place at a ‘Special School’ where Charlie finished his secondary education before progressing to college, where for 5 years, he studied an almost identical subject every year based around ‘life-skills’. Unfortunately the problems still persist for autistic individuals, lack of friends, social exclusion, and bullying. Many of them are on the treadmill of life, but going nowhere, shunned by a society that just does not understand. What future and what ambition is open to these young adults? My son wanted to follow his brother into University, but entry levels are all academic based, so why can a course not be developed that will allow autistic individuals to be a student, live a student life, and be part of a student community?
Our mission objectives at Autism Unseen are ever expanding, we receive incredible support from everyone we speak to, it seems that everyone in the country knows someone with autism. We have a number of employers asking us for advice on the employment of young adults with autism, however national statistics show that only 15% of autistic adults are in full-time employment, so the situation surrounding employment needs to be tackled. Young autistic adults can be an asset to any company; they are generally hard working, often very focused and fun to be around. Employers need to be made aware that autistic individuals are more than capable of working for a living and 79% of autistic individuals on Incapacity Benefit say they want to work.
If you feel that you can help expand our charity, and help to make a difference, then we would love to hear from you. We are looking for fundraisers throughout the country, we welcome ideas for raising money and we need people on the ground, the length and breadth of the UK, to bang our drum and to shout out our mission statements. With your help we can make a difference and between us we can grow this into a truly national organisation.
Please feel free to get in touch, just click on our ‘CONTACT’ button at the top of the page.
Love Amanda X
Chairperson Autism Unseen
FACTS ABOUT AUTISM
1.The term ‘autism’ is used here to describe all diagnoses on the autism spectrum including classic autism, Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition. Without the right support, it can have a profound – sometimes devastating – effect on individuals and families.
2. Autism is much more common than many people think. There are around 700,000 people in the UK with autism – that’s more than 1 in 100. If you include their families, autism touches the lives of 2.7 million people every day.
3. Autism doesn’t just affect children. Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism.
4. Autism is a hidden disability – you can’t always tell if someone has it.
5. While autism is incurable, the right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to people’s lives.
6. Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school.
7. Over 50% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support them.
8. One in five children with autism has been excluded from school, many more than once.
9. Nearly two-thirds of adults with autism in England do not have enough support to meet their needs.
10. At least one in three adults with autism are experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support.
11. Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time paid employment.
12. 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.
13. 61% of those out of work say they want to work.
14. 79% of those on Incapacity Benefit say they want to work.