Observe, Understand and Support.

For Autism Awareness Month 2019, ART launched an awareness programme to celebrate diversity and embrace the fact that people can think and behave in different ways.

Crucially, we wanted to spread the word that we can all help one another with simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness.

We contacted a selection of primary schools to encourage discussion on this positive topic, providing worksheets about diversity, and also Q&As relating to a Virtual Reality film (created by ART trustee, Lucy Hawking).


  • Primary school pupils with special educational needs are twice as likely as other children to suffer from persistent bullying. The situation can escalate and become even more serious at secondary school.
  • By educating children at primary school level (Key Stage 2) on the importance of compassion and acceptance to everyone they meet, however ‘different’ they appear, we are reducing the chance of confusion and hostilities arising and potentially developing further down the line. Observe, understand and support.


  • Because autistic people find it hard to read facial expressions and body language, they can't tell when someone is being friendly or if they are trying to hurt them. This means they may misunderstand the intentions of their peers.
  • They can also be easy targets in the playground as they sometimes prefer to play alone. As a result, other children find it easy to pick on them as they do not have a support structure around them. Other children may also pick on them if they see them doing 'odd' things such as hand flapping or making inappropriate comments.
  • Autistic children and young people can also become the bully themselves. They may become aggressive when a game is not being played the way they want and then try to control the situation. They may also become frustrated at being 'left out' in the playground and try to 'make' children become friends with them.



Why not raise money for ART alongside these discussion workshops and help support life-changing autism research?

We can assist you in whatever fundraising activity you choose, either at home or at school or in your local community.

Not only are we keen to suggest ART's signature cake-sale fundraiser 'CommuniCAKE' but also, in line with the positive theme of diversity, why not have a 'Dress to Express' mufti day where children can choose their attire based on whatever they like and however they feel. This could mean dressing as a hero footballer, a flower fairy or simply head-to-toe in green!

To find out more about the diversity discussion worksheets or ideas on fundraising, please email [email protected]

Thank you to all those involved, including Brantridge School in West Sussex who dedicated a day to awareness building and a fun CommuniCAKE event!