Autistic people came together on Wednesday, coinciding with World Autism Awareness Day, at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium in an exciting event to learn more about wellbeing and how to live independent lives.
Over 150 autistic people were welcomed to the conference, which was developed and co-produced by autistic individuals. The packed agenda for the day featured a range of sessions contributing to improve understanding of good overall wellbeing, including mental health, physical exercise, further education, yoga and ageing well, to name but a few.
Delegates at the event also heard from Holby City actor and autistic advocate Jules Robertson, who discussed his own experiences of the condition.
The conference was coordinated by the National Autism Team (formerly National Autism Development Team) in partnership with National Autistic Society Cymru, Public Health Wales, the Ospreys, Swansea City FC and Swansea University.
Speaking before the event, Councillor Huw David (Bridgend), WLGA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care said:
“I am delighted that after many months of planning, the first National Autism Wales Conference – Promoting Autistic Wellbeing is taking place as part of World Autism Awareness Week.
“Autistic individuals have consistently said that they feel ‘invisible’ as far as key events go for them in the community. This feedback has been heard clearly by the National Autism Team, and the conference – developed and co-produced by autistic people, for autistic people – is a direct response.”
“I sincerely hope that the agenda offers something for everyone and will offer helpful and practical advice in terms of promoting wellbeing and how to live independent lives.”
Also speaking before the event, Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services said:
“Today’s event provides a welcome opportunity to discuss the unique challenges many autistic people face in their day-to-day lives and to look at ways to maintain and promote well-being. The Welsh Government is continuing to invest in the development of new integrated services to improve support for autistic people and their families.”