Autism on show

Autism on show (and oblong)

The Kirklees Autism Show was yesterday. It is good to see the local council taking such a positive stand.

I went, I got there at 11am and left at 12 noon. 20 minutes of that time was for coffee and to look through the paperwork. 10 minutes to take time and chill. The other 30 was all I could take. The room was brightly lit by florescent lighting, the stalls were close together and at the time I got there, there was already a buzz in the rooms. It was busy, and that can only be a good thing.

But not necessarily a good thing for autistic people like myself. When you cannot turn off all the other sounds from the room off having a conversation is not impossible, but it is difficult and tiring. I was worn out in 30 minutes. Still there was a walk on the canal bank back from the Huddersfield Textile Centre of excellence to the town centre, so I was able to walk off the effects of being over stimulated. (The coffee did not help there, and that was my own choice.)

There was a sensory room with subdues lighting, so a plus there, but the use of other rooms so that autistic people can talk to stallholders away from the stalls would help.

I am very interested in “Be Just You” a social group for adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. It meets every 2 weeks not far from where I live, I shall look into it. A conversation at the stall with one of the stallholders at Be Just You: She said she was interested in words, and I said I really liked the sound of the word oblong. (Imagine it being said with Northern English vowels, even better, say it out loud.) There was then a 5 minute conversation as two adults enthused about the sound of the word. The other, non autistic stallholder looked on bemused. That’s the Aspie mind for you.

Another thing I saw was Bricks4Kidz, helping autistic children using the medium of LEGO®. I can’t help thinking that autistic adults would be helped by this too.

So well done Kirklees Council for putting on the Autism show, they are showing more than a token interest in us, there is a focus on employment of autistic people and help for parents of autistic children, but help is there is some help for all. My criticisms are minor, it was good to see the show put on.

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