Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an introductory session on autism through Elaine Smith from Autism Scotland.
This session was organised by the Education Society and proved an extremely valuable experience to learn about a topic that, although I have heard small pockets of information, I had little knowledge of. This wasn’t through intended ignorance; rather autism was something that was never present through my time at school. It was only upon leaving that I heard it referred through conversation and the greater media, therefore I was eager to attend the hour-long seminar to further expand my knowledge on the condition.
My initial thoughts were that I was impressed by the turnout. There was easily over one hundred people in attendance, both staff and student. Over the course of the hour, Elaine presented a lot of intriguing pockets of information that resulted in me taking a page and half worth of notes. Not only did she provide knowledge on the different varieties of what someone with autism deals with, but also alternative news such as the ratio between genders, the causes and strategies to utilise to make teaching students with autism as comfortable as possible.
All in all, I simply can’t detail all of the information I left the lecture theatre with due to the extensive level of detail mentioned – but I can state that I feel the session was invaluable for my understanding moving forward, both in my future career as a primary school teacher and as a member of society. It is important that we embrace those who suffer from autism rather than shy away from it; something we might have done in the past. Together as a society, we are stronger.