Awareness & Action
Bermuda Autism Support and Education (BASE) advocates for people on the autism spectrum.
Over the years, autism advocacy has focused on raising awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This has encouraged parents to be aware of early indicators of autism, screen their young children and seek early interventions to give children with autism the best possible outcomes.
Awareness, however, is only the first step in autism advocacy. BASE is now also advocating for acceptance and accommodations.
Autism awareness is critically important for a multitude of reasons.
The more people are aware of the early indicators of autism, the more likely they are to get their own children screened and diagnosed at an early age. The sooner a child is diagnosed, the sooner that child can receive support to address potential challenges and enable greater independence.
Early intervention programmes focus on developing communication, social and cognitive skills. Visit our Service Providers page for information about interventions that are available in Bermuda.
BASE does not endorse or recommend any specific person, organisation or form of treatment. The information on this website should not be considered medical advice; it should serve as only a guide to resources that are publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action and/or a resource is a personal decision that should take the particular circumstances of each individual and family into account.
Types of interventions
- Speech-language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Sensory integration
- PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
- SCERTS (Social Communication Emotional Regulation and Transactional Supports)
- Vision therapy
- Music therapy
An increase in general awareness of autism and autistic traits also results in more compassion and understanding amongst people who are not on the spectrum. They realise that children with autism are not misbehaving by stimming or being rude by avoiding eye contact or being naughty when they are experiencing sensory overload.
By becoming aware of autism and what it entails, people are in a better position to accept people with autism as they are and look for ways to accommodate them.
Unfortunately, although autism awareness has increased over the years, it has often been portrayed as a disorder to be treated or, if further research allows, even cured.
Autism is not a disorder to be cured; it is a neurological difference to be embraced and celebrated. We encourage everyone to accept people with autism as part of the broader community. Just as there is a vast range of neurotypical people, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, we must avoid placing people on the spectrum into stereotypes.
While people on the spectrum have varying support needs, the ultimate goal should be helping them to realise their full potential; the goal is not to make them as neurotypical as possible.
The natural progression of acceptance is accommodations. We know what autism is, we accept people with autism as they are; now, what can we do to make life easier for people on the spectrum?
There are many areas in which accommodations can be made for people with autism, including school and the workplace. An extensive list of potential accommodations is on our resources page. Such accommodations may include:
- Alternative lighting
- Noise cancelling earbuds or headsets
- Flexible schedules
- Remote work
- Speech recognition software
- Extra time
- Alternative forms of communication
- Quiet areas
- Visual or written instructions
These relatively small accommodations can make a huge difference to a person with autism.
Accommodations are already in place for a variety of differences that are widely accepted. We strongly advocate for accommodations for people on the autism spectrum. It is imperative to realise that each individual will have different needs and accommodations will need to be made on an individualised basis.