Alex Cunningham, Labour’s Member of Parliament for Stockton North, was pleased to be one of almost 100 MPs who attended an event organised by The National Autistic Society to celebrate and support the launch of their Too Much Information campaign which seeks to improve public understanding of autism.
A YouGov poll in 2015 found that over 99.5 per cent of people in the UK had heard of autism, though only 16 per cent of autistic people and their families said that the public had a meaningful understanding of autism. The charity’s Too Much Information report also reveals how this poor public comprehension is pushing autistic people and their families into isolation, and calls on the public to find out more about autism so they can respond to autistic people with more empathy and understanding.
More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum. This means that someone sees, hears and feels the world in a different, often more intense, way to other people. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which means they feel overwhelmed by “too much information” when out in public.
“The National Autistic Society’s important report shows why we must work harder to improve public understanding of autism. Nobody should ever feel so misunderstood that they sometimes can’t leave their home, or find themselves in a situation where they feel socially isolated.
“That’s why I’m pleased to support the Too Much Information campaign and am encouraging my constituents in Stockton North to learn a little bit more about autism.
“A basic understanding of autism could help open up the world for autistic people and their families in our community and across the UK.”