Highlighting World Autism Awareness Week

29 March 2017

From Monday 27 March people around the globe will be marking World Autism Awareness Week.

Running up until Sunday 2 April, people are being asked to get involved and help make a difference to the lives of those who suffer from autism. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the condition, which is characterised by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. Autism: What is it? A lifelong condition, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is present from childhood and is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. In the U.K. alone it’s estimated that one in every 100 people has ASD, with more boys being diagnosed than girls. Read more: Risk for autism higher when parents are older Signs and symptoms While characteristics vary, most people with ASD tend to have problems with social interactions and communications. Not babbling or using other vocal sounds in infancy can be a sign, or with older children, it might be they have problems using non-verbal behaviours to interact with others, like eye contact. Restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests can also be an indicator. Living with ASD While there is no ‘cure’ for autism, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and educational support are available to help children and their parents. Read more: It happened to me: It took 14 years to diagnose my son with autism World Autism Awareness Week initiatives

Check out autism.org.uk for ways you can get involved with this worthy week, from night walks to bucket collections. Also, make sure you download charity single What’s Inside by British two-piece The Beautiful Secret. Band member’s Rachael Hawnt and Ashley Cutler are donating all proceeds from the track to The National Autistic Society to raise funds and increase awareness of the condition.

Talking about what inspired the song, singer Rachael told Cover Media the cause is close to her heart.

“My beautiful niece Katie-Rae, who is now 16, has autism and learning difficulties and had many fears and phobias from the get-go,” she shared. “She has struggled with social situations and depression all of her life, but she is still a strong and loving person with a fantastic artistic flare and a big, big heart.

Read more: Dealing with autism

“We wanted to write a song to help raise funds and awareness for autistic people. The first person I went to talk to was Katie-Rae; I told her I wanted to write about the way SHE felt, a real perspective from a real autistic child.”

What’s Inside, taken from the band’s self-titled debut album The Beautiful Secret, is available to download now, with the album to follow in April.

Rachael and Ashley are also busy creating the soundtrack for forthcoming film release George Best: The Movie.

© Cover Media

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