A huge part of Spectrum Gaming is our advocacy work.
We are a community that enables autistic young people to develop meaningful friendships and develop a more positive perspective of autism. But we have also created a movement that aims to have a positive influence on society through advocacy and enabling strategic change to ensure the needs of autistic young people are met across the UK. This doesn't just impact on our society, but helps young people to better advocate for themselves moving forward.
Here are the projects our community members are currently working on:
Barriers to Education
Unfortunately, a huge number of young people in our community struggle to attend or are out of school because of lack of understanding or support. We are working with Bury Council, Trafford Council and a variety of other partners to create innovative guidance on supporting young people who are struggling to access education. Over 300 young people, 600 parents and 80 professionals have contributed to the guidance so far. Once it has been created, it will be free for everyone to use and access.
Many of our members feel Spectrum Gaming is the first place they have felt comfortable developing friendships, and they want to help other spaces and organisations create spaces that can achieve the same for young people who mainstream support often does not work for.
So far, we have run a variety of focus groups and activities to identify the key issues that need to be addressed. The next step is to create some resources that are free to access for all organisations, so they know what actionable steps they can take to make their groups work for all young people. These resources will be co-created with young people and will be put onto a ‘youth loneliness’ website, that will be free for all individuals and organisations to access and benefit from.
Autism Post Diagnosis
Often when a young person receives an autism diagnosis, parents are told what autism is, but young people do not get the opportunity to understand it. We are currently working with the National Autistic Society, Manchester Foundation
Trust and other partners to create a post diagnostic pack for autistic young people. When this has been created, it will be used by all diagnostic services across Greater Manchester, and will be free to access across the UK for anyone else who would like to use them.
Resources we have developed
Our Guide to Autism and Meltdowns
Inclusive Activity Toolkit
Neurodiversity and School Report
Here is some of the feedback we have had so far:
With the wide range of information and resources regarding autism that is available, it can be incredibly difficult to know what is right, and what needs to be done to ensure the best outcomes for autistic people, but we are here to help.
We can support you with work around 3 areas:
At Spectrum Gaming, not just will you be working with adults with lived experience, but we have worked together with local authorities, strategical boards, schools and much more in a professional capacity, so we also have extensive practice experience of supporting autistic people, in addition to being autistic ourselves.
We also believe in true representation of autistic people. Rather than running typical boards or groups for young people who feel confident enough to attend these, we focus on working in coproduction with young people who are often unheard, including young people who may be struggling to attend school, may be too anxious to attend typical 'youth voice groups' and more. This means we can offer insight which is often unheard, as long as you are able to adapt and work in a way that works for these young people.
In addition to consultancy work, we also run training and events about autism, which people can sign up to attend. Here are a few examples: