During World Autism Awareness Week (running from March 27-April 2nd, with World Autism Awareness Day on the 2nd), Sikh PA are working with Gurleen Kaur Manku of AS Mentoring to help publicise just how families and individuals can get help. Conditions such as autism can be taboo subjects within Asian communities, where there often aren’t the support networks needed to help those affected. Here we share a statement from Gurleen about her own experiences with autism and where there is support available.
“I’m a British Sikh professional working as an Autism Employment Consultant for AS Mentoring. I also have a younger brother with autism. My brother is now 13 and we’ve faced numerous obstacles due to his autism in accessing appropriate education, healthcare and the wider community.
“Autism affects the whole household. My brother’s challenging behaviours make social outings difficult. However after persistence and with God’s grace he is learning. I’m very proud that he is a member of Sikh Scouts and the children have all been welcoming.
“Through my work with adults with autism, individuals often face associated mental health problems and other co-occurring conditions. Even if they are able to hold down some form of employment with reasonable adjustments in place, they still struggle with social situations and flexibility of thought.
“It is important for people to know support is available. They can turn to the National Autistic Society, Autism West Midlands and additionally adults can access AS Mentoring. I hope that more awareness of autism within Asian communities will make more things possible for those on the spectrum, including attending a Gurdwara or any place of worship, as everyone should be allowed their own spiritual journey.”