#JustBecuase is a campaign to help dispel myths and assumptions often made about autism. Our seven taglines aim to raise awareness about some of the things that local autistic people feel are important key messages to share.
#JustBecause I don’t always speak, doesn’t mean I don’t have a voice
I may feel overwhelmed or be afraid to speak out because of the environment I am in or the situation.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have thoughts and feelings; I just need a little bit longer to express myself.
There are a number of services that can support the voice of young people, adults, and parent/carers:
Having someone to speak on your behalf, helping you to express your views and wishes, is known as advocacy. It enables people with physical or learning disabilities, older people or those with mental health needs to make informed choices and decisions about their own health and social care:
#JustBecause I like to be on my own, doesn’t mean I want to be lonely
I may like to have time to myself or need time out to rest. This is because sometimes I feel too overwhelmed from engaging in day-to-day activity.
I can also struggle to communicate with others, but this doesn’t mean I don’t want friendships or relationships. I still want to socialise and join in activities.
Friends prevent isolation and loneliness and can increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost happiness and reduce stress. This is why it is important to make sure everyone has the chance to meet new people and feel a part of their community.
- Our Active Outdoors is a great place to meet people and offer run, cycle and walking sessions which are suitable for adults of all fitness levels and abilities
- Our Back to Sports sessions can help people to keep fit whilst socialising. All you have to do is turn up and have fun!
- LINC 2 - Young person’s survival guide is also a good place to find out about things to do across Wigan for young people
- All You Need (external link) - A friendship and dating service for Wigan, and host month nights out to help people connect.
#JustBecause I am non-verbal, doesn’t mean I don’t understand
This is Rocco, and like some other people with autism he is non-verbal but that doesn’t mean he can’t understand what others say or that he can’t make himself understood.
People that are non-verbal, or those who use very little verbal communication, have many ways they can make themselves heard. This might include using sign assisted language, gesturing, using body language and facial expression, symbols, images and much more.
Some people may also use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) devices.
#JustBecause people are non-verbal, it does not mean they don’t understand
Find out more about autism and the support available locally (external link).
#JustBecause I appear to be coping, doesn’t mean I am on the inside
Having a hidden condition isn’t always easy. Sometimes people unfortunately make assumptions based on the way you present yourself.
Just because autistic people often appear to be fine, on the inside there can often be turmoil and chaos.
Often, we mask these feelings to meet social expectations and norms. This can be exhausting both physically and emotionally.
Access to mental health support is so important.
Find out more about support available locally, including a list of helplines and contacts and other resources and training.
#JustBecause I am autistic, doesn’t mean I cannot get employment or do a job well
Autism isn’t a barrier to employment. Many autistic people have a multitude of skills and abilities to bring to a company.
Some people may need reasonable adjustments implemented within the workplace, which can be as simple as flexible working or slight changes to the working environment.
These slight changes will enable to achieve their aspirations alongside being able to do their job well.
Access to Work (external link) can also help you get support if you have a disability or health condition.
People with autism also have many different strengths and it's important we embrace what people can do rather than dwell on things people struggle with.
#JustBecause I am autistic, it doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings and emotions
People with autism often face a common assumption that all autistic people rarely show emotion to others or are able to understand how you are feeling.
This is now always that case. People with autism can have difficulties in understanding social communications and cues, some may find it hard to show how they are feeling, and others may wear their hearts on their sleeves – just like everyone else. They may also need just a little more time to understand what emotion you are showing.
Find out more about autism and individual experiences shared by people with autism (external link).
#JustBecause it can take longer to process certain information; doesn’t mean I am stupid
Making sure information is clear and concise is so important. Overcomplicated terminology and unnecessary jargon can make it even harder to understand.
It may take some people with autism a little longer to process information; a little extra time and consideration may be all that is needed.
For advice and top tips about how to make your information more user friendly or other useful websites to support you, visit our accessibility webpages.