Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), often referred to as autism is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with autism often have difficulties with social interactions and communication and may have repetitive interests and behaviours. Additionally, those with autism may also have different ways of learning. Autism Awareness Month takes place every April and is a time dedicated to raising awareness about the condition.

In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about autism awareness month, including when is Autism Awareness Month, what it involves and what organisations like Seashell do all year round to provide essential care and support to children and young adults living with autism.

Seashell worker and boy playing with bubbles.

When is Autism Awareness Month?

Autism Awareness Month takes place from April 1st to April 30th and aims to promote understanding, acceptance and inclusion of individuals with autism within communities worldwide. It has been proven that autistic people often face discrimination and barriers across all sectors of society- from health and social care systems to education and employment. Therefore, autism awareness month hopes to provide information to everyone about autism as well as offer support to autistic people, their families and carers.

The Significance of Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity to shed light on the challenges and triumphs that individuals on the autism spectrum experience daily. Therefore, through various events, educational initiatives and fundraisers, Autism Awareness Month hopes to raise awareness and money for those who need extra support. With greater awareness comes increased acceptance, which is why Seashell works so hard to offer children and young people all the support they need to reach their true potential.

Seashell: Empowering Individuals with Autism

Seashell is a charity that supports people with autism, children and young adults with various complex learning difficulties, additional communication needs and disabilities across the UK. Many of the individuals Seashell supports have autism. From specialist education to supported living services, people aged 4 to 25 years old get the help they need at our special needs school and college – Royal School Manchester and Royal College Manchester. We also provide respite breaks, health and well-being services and community facilities through their residential homes.

Seashell believes in empowering autistic individuals by offering them specialised care and tailored programmes that ensure each individual gets their unique needs met. Below, we look into the nurturing environment that Seashell provides where every child can flourish.

Specialised Educational Programmes

At the heart of Seashell’s work is education. We believe strongly in fostering social, cognitive and emotional development by offering students the support they need to achieve. From innovative teaching methodologies to unique learning experiences, Seashell empowers students to enhance communication skills, develop meaningful relationships and build their self-confidence while learning.  

Learning at Seashell is also all about experiencing life opportunities and experiences to help individuals express themselves and build an understanding of the world. Here are some of the most popular specialised education programmes:

  • Horticulture programme for hands-on outdoor learning  
  • British Sign language classes to help communication  
  • Functional key skills and communication  
  • Home management
  • Leisure tasters and work experience (on and off-site)

Another great example of how Seashell’s Royal School Manchester provides a specialist learning environment for those with autism is their Autism Accredited status from the National Autistic Society for several years. Our special needs school has also achieved Advanced Status which means that the school programme it offers is deemed highly creative and personalised to support each autistic individual to achieve positive outcomes.

Therapeutic Interventions

At Seashell, there is also a wide array of therapeutic interventions to support the holistic well-being of children with autism. They offer speech therapy, occupational therapy for learning disabilities, sensory integration and behavioural interventions that are seamlessly woven into daily routines to help skill acquisition and independence.

Adaptive Learning Environments

Seashell’s facilities are some of the best available for autistic children and young people as they are designed to create adaptive learning environments. Through their thoughtful design, they provide the diverse sensory needs of individuals with autism. This includes quiet spaces, sensory rooms and structured routines that provide a sense of security and predictability to create a positive learning experience.  

Seashell has some of the best facilities and equipment for SEND students in the country and is becoming a national centre of excellence for inclusive sports. Their facilities include a fully accessible swimming pool, fitness suite, climbing wall and football pitch. This helps to break down barriers for autistic individuals and disabled young people so they can enjoy a wide range of sports and leisure activities.  

Autism Awareness Month is a great reminder of the collective responsibility to champion acceptance, understanding, and inclusion for individuals with autism while highlighting the work of amazing organisations such as Seashell.  

For more information on how Seashell supports children and young people with autism, or for ways that you can get involved with Autism Awareness Month, contact us today.