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James Paget Hospital is the first hospital to participate in the Autism Reality Experience

21 June 2017

A new immersive sensory experience, which can help people to understand more about some of the sensory difficulties faced by autistic people, came to the James Paget University Hospital’s Learning Disability Open Day, and is the first hospital to in the UK to host the experience.

More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK. This means that someone sees, hears and feels the world in a different, often more intense way than others do. Autistic people often find public places challenging. They are unable to filter out the sounds, smells, and sights around them, which means they can feel bombarded and overwhelmed by ‘too much information’. Understanding these challenges is the key to making a world where autistic people can live the lives that they choose.

The Autism Reality Experience – a hands-on training course - can particularly help those working with individuals on the autism spectrum to understand more about acute sensitivities to light, sound and other things in the everyday environment that can overload those in their care.

The experience requires the user to attempt a series of tasks whilst being subjected to a range of effects designed to overload their vision, hearing and thought processes.

The Autism Reality Experience, invented by Experience Training Ltd’s Managing Director Glenn Knight said: “Many autistic people and their families can find coming to hospital to be a stressful experience. The different noises smells and all the comings and goings can make it a very anxious and distressing time, by taking part in this experience it will enable our staff to have a better understanding of the sensory difficulties people living with autism face therefore making their time in the hospital as stress free as it can be.

Rebecca Crossley, Autism Liaison Nurse said “this is the 5th year we’ve hosted a Learning Disability Open Day and it’s been the best year so far with a huge attendance. The Autism Reality Experience allows our staff to better acknowledge and understand the needs of our autistic patients, and therefore make the reasonable adjustments required to provide the best care for patients.”

Experience Training Ltd are offering Autism Reality Experience to organisations across the UK who employ staff that work directly or indirectly with autistic people. This includes care and nursing homes, day centres, hospitals, hospices, local authorities, prisons, universities and the retail sector.