Autism Awareness Week


A campaign to raise awareness and acceptance of autism.

Our aims are:

  • Raising the awareness of autism
  • Promoting the acceptance of autism
  • Working towards and autism friendly Borough

What is autism?

Watch the Amazing Things Happen YouTube video (external link)

One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum, and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK alone.

Though everyone on the spectrum may have different experiences and needs, World Autism Awareness Week is a chance to speak up for the rights of all autistic people, and highlight the social, economic, health and educational obstacles that many autistic people face.

Wigan Councils vision is to become an autism friendly borough.

We believe that people with autism have skills and assets to offer to our borough and are more than just a person with autism.

Find more information about getting a diagnosis, support and training (external link).

Understanding autism training

Who's it for? Parents/carers who have a child or young person aged 5-16 with a diagnosis of autism.

This webinar looks at different aspects of autism for children, including:

  • Understanding your child’s diagnosis
  • Communication
  • Behaviour
  • Sensory differences.

Watch the Understanding Autism Training YouTube video (external link)


Five great resources for family and friends of an autistic child or young person:

Kristy Forbes

Kristy is an autism and neurodiversity support specialist, who is autistic herself. She is a brilliant advocate for the autistic community and gives incredible insight in what it feels like to be an autistic person. Her social media presence encourages you  how to approach autism from a completely different perspective.

Yvonne Newbold

Yvonne is a wonderful advocate for the autism community, she is the founder of The SEND VCB Project on Facebook; a supportive community to help parents and caregivers understand violent and challenging behaviour that can occur. Yvonne is involved in NHS England Learning Disabilities & Autism Advisory Committee. She has created resources for parents and professionals and offers brilliant training webinars that you can find on her Facebook page.

Options Autism

Options Autism are an organisation that provide care and education to children, young people and adults with autism, complex needs and learning difficulties. They have created a series of brilliant help sheets offering advice and guidance which you can sign up to.

The Parent Carer Forum by Irwin Mitchell

This Facebook Group is run by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and can connect you to other parent/carers. Most importantly, there are webinars from the group on a range of legal topics such as financial deputyships, EHCP processes, technology adaptations, and how can we make the internet safer for vulnerable children, young people and adults.

Embracing Autism Facebook group

This group has been so beneficial to many people. The membership is made up of #actuallyautistic adults who are willing to educate parents and share their autistic perspective. They can offer their views which allows you to see the beyond the behaviour and to meet the need of your child.


World Autism Awareness Week 29th March – 4th April

Autism Acceptance poems


Autism Friends

"An Autism Friend is somebody that learns about autism so they can help their community by helping to change the stigma of autism."

Number of Autism Friends so far: 2036

Book onto an Autism Friends Awareness session

To attend one of our free one-hour Autism Friends Awareness sessions and become an Autism Friend, find your nearest session below.

These sessions aim to help businesses and members of the public better understand how those living with autism will encounter situations and what they can do to break down barriers. Sessions are held regularly across Greater Manchester and to date over 2000 people have attended.

All sessions run for approximately 1 hour. Due to the Coronavirus, sessions are currently held virtually.​

Who's shown their support

Hindley ARLFC

Hindley ARLFC

Autism Friends supporting Wigan Pride

Autism Friends supporting Wigan Pride

Grand Arcade, Wigan

Autism Friends at The Grand Arcade

McDonald's Autism Friendly Hour

McDonalds Autism Friendly Hour

National Autistic Society Awards Winner

National Autistic Society Awards Winner

The Willow Project

The Willow Project

Virgin Trains, Wigan North Western

Virgin Trains at Wigan North Western

Wigan Adult Autsm Partnership Board

Wigan Adult Autism Partnership Board

Autism Friendly Stadiums

Autism friendly stadiums

Useful links

Follow Autism Friends on social media to keep up to date:


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© Wigan Council