April for Autism
by Orla Flynn
The National Autistic Society define autism as a "lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them", but this is a brief statement, as each individual that has autism is different. It is an invisible disability in most people that have it, meaning that children with autism are often spoken of as 'naughty' or 'out of control'. The only thing out of control is their thought processes; I can speak from experience that a mind with autism goes as fast as a hummingbird's heart rate.
At Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park, we cater to all different needs, one if which autism, learning from having a staff member who has been working with us for nearly a year now! One of the most important things to understand with autism is that it isn't something you 'get', it's something you are born with and you learn to 'have', as any person thriving with a mental health issue has it, it never has them! So this month, in not just awareness, but in celebration of autism, please embrace everything different in one another, as well as all of our animals!