Director supports new YouTube Channel sharing autistic voice
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 37 seconds
It’s no secret that working with the Panel is absolutely one of my favourite parts of my job.
The Autism Education Trust (AET) has been sharing the voice of young autistic people since 2007 when it started working with our Autistic Young Experts Panel.
The Panel is now formed of a fantastic group of 15-25 year-olds who make a valuable contribution to our organisation and put the voice of the autistic learner firmly at the heart of all we do at the AET.
As well as sharing their education experiences and evaluating our training for our audience of education professionals, the Panel also want to engage with other autistic young people.
When they shared with me their vision of launching their own YouTube Channel to reach their peers, I was delighted to be able to support the project through the AET.
Getting to Channel launch day has been a full year in the making and full-on for all involved!
There has been careful and considered planning to ensure the success of the project.
Top of the list were the in-depth group discussion of topics the group wanted to talk about, preparation of video content, and making sure the different needs and adjustments were in place to support our young people to attend in-person Panel meetings for the first time since Covid.
It was paramount that we ensured that the young people felt fully supported in venturing to new locations for filming.
To help reduce anxiety about visiting somewhere for the first time, we shared photos of the new venues ahead of arrival so that the young people knew what to expect.
Everyone attending – camera crew included - had an abridged ‘one page profile’ which was shared with the group in advance of the filming days to help remove uncertainty of who was going to be at the meetings and what they looked like.
On 27 March, to mark the start of Autism Acceptance Week, the Panel released their first videos, discussing things they wished people knew about autism and sharing their first-hand, lived experiences.
I’ve been so proud to watch the group grow in confidence and voice as they’ve developed their project.
They’ve talked openly and bravely to the camera about the negative experiences they’ve had, and positively about what they feel needs to change to support other autistic young people to thrive in and out of school life.
Their heartfelt hope and intention is that by increasing awareness and understanding of autism, they support the AET’s vision of a world where all autistic children and young people experience a positive education that supports wellbeing.
The group’s videos promise to be entertaining, informative and poignant in parts.
I’d invite everyone in our wonderful AET Community to please show your support of these amazing young people by liking and subscribing to their Channel, and sharing with your wider networks.
#AutismAcceptanceWeek #WorldAutismAcceptanceWeek #Autism #AutismEducation #GoodAutismPractice #DifferenceNotDeficit #AET