Ramsgate pupils have been raising cash for Autism Awareness Week

Ramsgate Free School has been raising money for autism help and awareness

Pupils at Ramsgate Free School have raised cash for Schools Autism Awareness Week by wearing their onesies to class.

Children wore a colourful array of onesies for the event which helped give them knowledge about autism and how they can understand children with the condition.

Small change money boxes were given to pupils to collect their loose pennies or pocket money and donate it to the cause.

Just £2.24 is all it costs to send an information pack to someone who’s just been told their child has autism, while £7.50 can provide emergency advice to someone calling the National Autistic Society Helpline who can’t cope anymore.

Head of school Nick Budge said: “We raised more than £150 which was a brilliant effort.

“We have several families in our school community who have links with autism and we would therefore like to support them by educating our children about the behaviours and characteristics of autism and let them know what they can do to help.

“Children explored how we are the same and different. This led into a discussion about what autism is before pupils completed research to find out for themselves. They also heard what it might be like for those who live everyday with autism.

“Autism awareness really helps embed some of our core values such as collaboration, diversity and enquiry.  These values are not just for show, but are at the very heart of everyone and everything at our school.”

Ramsgate Free School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Junior School and Chilton Primary School.

What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.

In children with ASD, the symptoms are present before three years of age, although a diagnosis can sometimes be made after the age of three.

It’s estimated that about 1 in every 100 people in the UK has ASD. More boys are diagnosed with the condition than girls.

People with ASD tend to have problems with social interaction and communication.

The exact cause of ASD is unknown, but it’s thought that several complex genetic and environmental factors are involved.

Where to get help

The National Autistic Society helpline 0808 800 4104

Child Autism UK helpline 01344 882248