A recent survey found that individuals who are autistic are seven times more likely to be lonely during the current Coronavirus pandemic. This is a shocking statistic.
With frequently changing rules the current situation is confusing for everyone but for individuals with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) the situation is far worse. Changes to routines, new rules virtually every day and challenges with wearing face coverings are just a few of the barriers being experienced. The world has changed, and continues to change on an almost daily basis, it now, for many, feels like an unfamiliar place.
The survey also identified that 78% of ASC individuals were concerned about following the rules. This has meant that for many leaving home and carrying out day to day activities such as shopping and connecting with support provision has become near impossible leading to high levels of social isolation.
Throughout the pandemic here at I-AM we have worked hard to stay connected to our members and offer opportunities to connect with others via virtual events and groups. This helps to overcome social isolation by connecting individuals in a safe and supported environment.
“I enjoy doing the Zoom chats as I’ve not been able to see people the same and I’ve been feeling very isolated as I’ve not been out at all from the beginning of March” An I-AM Member
I-AM continues to offer our 1 to 1 support service. This can be a lifeline for individuals and prevent social isolation. Our support is carefully planned and takes a person-centred approach to meet individual needs. I-AM supports and develops the building of independence that enables and empowers an individual to live their lives as they wish. It is a now an even more vital service to support ASC individuals cope with the changing world in which we live.
I-AM also provides individualised specialist support to develop life skills, such as travel training, that build confidence and promote the learning of new skills enabling individuals to live a more independent life. I-AM is committed to giving individuals the choice to access and enhance their future aspirations and prospects.
“One of the things I had a lot of help with was using public transport, which I could not use because of my anxiety. I am now happy about being able to use public transport”. An I-AM Member