Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability, and the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability. The number of children identified as autistic continues to grow 10%-17% each year, and 1 million to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
For customers who have special needs, being open and willing to accommodate when you can creates a warm and inclusive atmosphere at your library.
Use these free resources to learn how you & your staff can make your library welcoming to people with autism spectrum disorders and their families:
- Download the one-page handout of Customer Service Tips for working with patrons who have autism spectrum disorders. It distills the information you'll see illustrated in the two videos embedded below. It covers communication tips, behaviors to ignore, behaviors you should not ignore, behavior tips, emergency tips, and relationship building tips.
- Watch these 9-minute customer service training videos: Libraries and Autism - Part 1 of 2:Libraries And Autism - Part 2 of 2:
The above resources are courtesy of Libraries and Autism: We're Connected, a project of the Scotch Plains Public Library (NJ) and Fanwood Memorial Library (NJ). P.S. April is National Autism Awareness Month.
Source of statistics: The Autism Society Facts and Statistics page