Autism Reality Experience

Christy and Stuart recently took part in the Autism Reality Experience, a hands-on training experience that allows people to walk in the shoes of autistic people and understand the challenges that they face. The aim is to encourage greater empathy and understanding for what it might be like for autistic people.

During the experience, we were asked to put on glasses with blurry lenses, gloves, and headphones. Loud noises were played in the headphones, and bright lights were flashed in our eyes. While this was happening we were given instructions on tasks we needed to complete. We were given 60 seconds to count money, separate green tiddlywinks from the other colours, and find the 5 of Spades playing card. We failed at all of these tasks, which showed us how difficult simple tasks can be for autistic people.

The experience was designed by autistic people who agreed that it was as close as physically possible to what they themselves experience, and it was definitely an eye-opening experience for us, which definitely gave us a greater understanding of the experiences of autistic people.