According to the the National Autistic Society, autism is a “lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.” Autism is a ‘spectrum’ condition, meaning it can affect different people in different ways. With around 700,000 autistic people in the UK – that’s more than 1 in 100 – Autism Awareness Day aims to not only raise awareness of the challenges faced everyday by those on the autistic specturm and their families, but to promote acceptance, inclusion and understanding.
Autism Angels is a local charity that works with parents and professionals to improve the lives of all children and works to balance the needs of a child on the autistic spectrum with those of their siblings, parents and professionals. They understand that being parent to an autistic child can be challenging as well as rewarding. Their aim is to provide parents with a place where they feel welcomed, accepted and find the support and guidance that they need, helping them to develop the tools to support their family.
Using a practice called Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL), they work with horses to create ‘real life’ scenarios that can then be practiced and worked through. Horses are reactionary animals and have a range of emotions that create powerful and honest immediate feedback. Working with this model enables individuals, families and professionals to gain new insights into how they communicate, empower and connect with themselves and the wider world around them.
Autism Angels offer a range of opportunities and services. They do not need a formal diagnosis of Autism to work with any family; opportunities are open to everyone.
The programmes are ideal for:
- children who are struggling with mainstream structures
- families who are finding day to day life difficult
- parents who are in need of some support, guidance and understanding
- professionals who are struggling to find appropriate strategies for the families they work with
- schools who would like to find innovative and creative ways to support and empower their teachers and students
Using transformational concepts and unique learning environment, Autism Angels has a proven history of sustainable, life changing benefits which empowers individuals to become the leaders of their own lives.
Mentoring Programme – work together for a year
Parent Programme – the opportunity to learn new ideas
Family Coaching – focused support for you and your family
Parent Coaching – time out just for you to reflect and receive support
Kids Club – offering you the respite you very much need whilst providing your children with a safe place to thrive, enjoy, learn and create
Enrichment Days – a fun but rich day of learning with the horses, which will leave them with new insights and tools to take back to their everyday lives
Family Fun Days – just what it says on the label…a fun day for you and your family
Summer Camps – a long weekend in the beautiful yorkshire countryside for the whole family
Autism Angels organise many events including fundraising opportunities, days out and taster days for new families. If you would like to find out more or get involved and help raise money for the charity you can visit their events page for details of what’s already planned (skydiving anyone?) or nominate them as your chosen charity in any sponsored event of your choosing.