2 Aug 2022

Not A Number

There are a lot of numbers associated with autism.

£32 billion per year - what autism is estimated to cost in the UK alone.

700,000 - the number of autistic people in the UK.

1 in 57 – the proportion of children diagnosed in the UK according to recent research (in the USA, the CDC reports that it could be as many as 1 in 47).

But the number One counts most of all.

The One who wakes every day in a world that sees them as a statistic rather than as an individual. That sees them as a problem to be fixed. A personality to be changed.

Autistic people are wonderful and each One is unique. They are focussed, creative, funny, passionate, full of life.

The world doesn’t always make sense to them, and that can affect the way they interact with it. But that doesn’t mean they are wrong. It just means they are different.

Autistic people don’t want to change. Why should they? They are who they are, and proud of it. What they would really like is more understanding of who they are. More support to help them live their lives. More chances to enjoy themselves on their own terms.

Autistic people like numbers. Numbers are reassuringly consistent. They behave in a predictable manner. They never change or let you down. And they’d like the world to be like that as well.