- Coloured pens or pencils
- Pens or pencils
- Flipchart paper
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers
Setting up the session
- Remind yourself of everything people have everything done for their project: how did they identify the need, plan action, and take action?
- If you've resources people made, or photos and videos of people taking action, bring them to show everyone.
- Write the questions to ask, taken from the card at the bottom of this activity, on six pieces of paper and display them around your meeting space.
- Gather everyone in a circle.
- Ask if everyone can remember any of the main details about their project so far, giving prompts where needed. You could use any resources, photos or videos to help jog people’s memories.
- Everyone should move around the room, visiting each of the six pieces of paper. They should think about each question, chat with their friends, then write down or draw their ideas. People could work with a partner to write or draw ideas, too.
- Everyone should come back in a circle and share their ideas. This's a great chance to congratulate everyone again – take a moment to celebrate successes and people’s hard work.
Choose your actions
- As a group, everyone should now work together to make a list of all the actions they could take to make the world more autism-friendly. One person could be chosen to write all the ideas down on the big sheets.
- Now, everyone should choose three things from the list to do themselves. They should plan how they’ll put them into practice.
- They may want to talk to a partner, write or draw their ideas, or create a poster to put up at the meeting place or at home to remind them. However they're displayed and remembered, the three actions need to be kept somewhere safe and visible, so people know to put them into action.
- An adult volunteer should make a note of everybody's actions, too. You could also set up emails to send to you in three months’ time to remind you what everyone's actions were and to check in with them.
- After a few weeks, the person leading the activity should check in with how people are doing. Do they need any support to do their actions? Do they want to add any more actions?
- After three months, everyone should reflect on how their actions went. What could they do next?
- What theme did we explore?
- What did we do?
- Why did we do it?
- How did it make you feel? What skills did you develop?
- How did the project make a difference for people or the environment?
- What could we do now? How could we achieve the next stage of our badge?
- Give autistic people more time to respond when you talk to them.
- Make sure you’re patient and kind to people if you think they may be feeling overwhelmed, or having a meltdown or shutdown.
- Always use kind words - avoid calling people ‘weird’ or ‘strange’.
- Make sure not to judge people.
- Make sure not to point out if someone may need to wear ear defenders or sunglasses to take part in an activity.
- Ask your school, clubs or for your birthday party to have a calm and quiet space for young people to go to if they need to.
- Ensure you have the autistic person's attention before you speak – it may be useful to use their name first.
- An autistic young person might need more support to make friends, so you can be kind, friendly and patient. Always be a buddy and include an autistic person in your games or activities.
- Asking before touching someone and respecting their choice if they say no. For some people, a hug may be painful rather than comforting.
- Try to avoid metaphors and colloquialisms, such as ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’, as these can be confusing and make people worry.
- Don't shout - an autistic person may not understand why you're shouting and could find this distressing, particularly if they're hypersensitive to noise.
- Ask your teacher to help people learn about autism
This activity helps contribute towards some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the SDGs, and how Scouts across the world are getting involved.
This activity was all about helping your community and being a citizen. What have people learned about autism so far? How have people used what they’ve learned to make a change? Did people’s actions help anyone else, as well as autistic people? How did it feel to step up as a citizen and help the community? What else could people to do make their communities more autism-friendly or accessible?
Depending on your group, it may be useful to have an adult at each sheet of paper to help people write down their ideas.
People could agree on some small actions individually, as well as a large action they could tackle as a group.
People can record their thoughts on the sheets of paper in whatever way works for them, including drawing and writing ideas down.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.