UK

Autistic people aren't really accepted – and it’s impacting their mental health

Up to 70% of autistic people experience mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, according to some research. Unfortunately, we still don’t know why autistic people are at a higher risk for mental health problems than non-autistic people. But one important factor is whether an individual’s autism is recognised and accepted by those around them.

How do you solve the trickiest problems in the workplace? Employ more autistic people

man behind desk looking into camera

Neurodiversity can be a huge advantage for companies, yet people on the spectrum have often been marginalised. Now some firms are specifically seeking them out. Is this a crucial turning point?

Five minutes from London’s Liverpool Street station is an office that looks like any other office in the tech industry: the decor is 21st century, pristine; takeaway coffee cups are omnipresent; most people under 30 are in casualwear. Just about everyone seems to be either staring at a smartphone, tapping at a laptop, or sprinting to their next appointment.

The company I’ve come to visit is called Auticon, an award-winning IT business. As well as the staff in the office, it employs 15 IT consultants who spend most of their time working elsewhere for companies such as pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, the credit rating agency Experian, and Allianz Insurance. But there is a fascinating twist: all of the 15 are autistic, and have been given their jobs after long spells of unemployment – not out of charity or sympathy, but a deep appreciation of the attributes they bring to their work.

School exclusion ‘linked to long-term mental health problems’ – study

Jamie Doward

Research shows that exclusions can amplify pupils’ psychological distress and encourage behaviour it intends to punish.

Excluding children from school may lead to long-term psychiatric problems and psychological distress, a major new study has shown.

The research by the University of Exeter also finds that poor mental health can lead to school exclusion.

How our autistic ancestors played an important role in human evolution

When you think of someone with autism, what do you think of? It might be someone with a special set of talents or unique skills – such as natural artistic ability or a remarkable memory. It could also be someone with enhanced abilities in engineering or mathematics, or an increased focus on detail.

Why It Took 35 Years To Diagnose My Autism

When I was four-years-old a speech therapist told my mother that my inability to speak would right itself. Her GP told her not to worry about my severe sleep problems and that I was simply a fussy eater for only eating jam sandwiches and yogurt.

The self-harm and eating disorder I developed as a teen was put down to depression and when I tried to end my life aged eighteen, I was called selfish by the nurse who pumped my stomach.

Autistic academics give their thoughts on university life

Around 3% of students in higher education are autistic and universities are working hard to listen, understand and meet their needs. But the fact that autistic students can become autistic academics appears to have gone unnoticed.

Autism research is still dominated by approaches which treat it as a “disorder” or a “deficit”. Research funding prioritises this “basic science” over work which approaches autism as a “natural human variation” or just difference.

Autism: 'hidden pool' of undiagnosed mothers with condition emerging

Experts report growing phenomenon of women recognising themselves as they research their children’s disorders

A “hidden pool” of women who have grown up with undiagnosed autism is coming to light as mothers researching their children’s spectrum disorders recognise themselves in their findings.

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