Building circles of support for people

so that they have a good life even after their parents are no longer here to stand up for them

Building circles of support for people

so that their families have peace of mind about the future

Building circles of support for people

so that they are empowered to realise their aspirations and contribute to their community

Building circles of support for people

so that they form intentional friendships that broaden and enrich their lives

Building circles of support for people

so that they develop stronger links in the wider community

Building circles of support for people

so that they are as fulfilled and happy as they can be

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Learning from People with Autism

22 May 2019

ACSYL has a particular interest in autism as most of our clients are on the spectrum. So we were pleased to see Greta Thunberg on the cover of the latest Time magazine (May 27), with the headline “The Teenager on Strike for the Planet”. Greta is 16 and has Asperger's. As she puts it, this “makes me see the world differently. I see through lies more easily. It's a strength in many ways, because you stand out from the crowd.”

Inspired by her courage and calls for action, an estimated 1.6 million people in 133 countries joined in a climate strike on the 15th March. Most of them were students who walked out of school for a few minutes, an hour or the whole day. Since then Greta has addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the 16th April, greeted Pope Francis on the 17th and spoken in the House of Commons on the 23rd.

Dr Temple Grandin, an autistic professor of animal science, believes that “the world needs all kinds of minds.” We couldn't agree more. “I had people in my life who didn't give up on me: my mother, my aunt, my science teacher,” she says. “My mother had a very good sense of how to stretch me just slightly outside my comfort zone.”

Here at ACSYL we count it a huge privilege to work with autistic people and learn from each one's unique perspective.
We'd like to give Greta the last word. This is her response to people's criticism of her stern demeanour and monotonous voice: “It's quite hilarious when the only thing people can do is mock you, or talk about your appearance or personality, as it means they have no argument, or nothing else to say. I'm not going to let that stop me, because I know this is so much more important.”