Prevalence of autism in our society has increased greatly. Figures from the Northern Ireland Census 2021 recorded that there are now over 35,000 adults and children with a diagnosis of autism. Many people within the NICS may either have an autism diagnosis, or be a carer or have a family member who is autistic,
Autism is a spectrum condition which can present a complex range of needs and will affect people differently. Many autistic people may have difficulty processing everyday sensory information like sound, smells, touch and taste, some may require specific patterns of routine or behaviour. Others may have complex needs which require specialist support.
In the coming months, NICS WELL will be holding two events which will be facilitated by Autism NI , one in August and one in November. These events will focus on Understanding Autism and Neurodiversity and will be beneficial to all civil servants either in supporting a colleague, or in how we deliver our government and public facing services.
In addition to this, all NICS staff have access to an e-learning package ‘Supporting Autistic People', which is accessible via LINKS to all civil servants. The e-learning package, which is 45 minutes in length, has been co-produced with people who have lived experience of autism and provides an opportunity to learn about the condition and how we can provide effective support and services for autistic people. The e-learning package can be accessed at the link via NICAL links website
We all want to live in and contribute to a more inclusive society, one in which everyone has a chance to participate and feel valued. Why not take time to avail of the training and increase our understanding - this is a chance for us all to take another step along that journey.