An autism diagnosis is much more than just a ‘label’. If you’re autistic, you’ve been autistic your whole life and you will gradually become aware that you experience the world in a different way to many of your peers. Unfortunately, an autism diagnosis carries with it a stigma, and becoming aware of this stigma can be damaging to a young person’s wellbeing as they get older – and the later they are recognised as autistic, the more problematic this becomes. We teach a positive view of their autistic identity, how to recognise and understand strengths and challenges, self-regulate and become advocates for themselves and others.
The structure of these can be bespoke to your school needs but there should be no more than 5 in a group of students – please create another group in this case. Groups can be multiplied and run in separate sessions.
Reducing stigma around autism depends not on the autistic young person to change, but everyone around them, which is why we advocate for whole school training on neurodiversity – the more you understand about difference, not deficit, the less likely you are to stigmatise. We strongly recommend your school undertakes this training in addition.