24 Mar Autism Awareness Day: April Second
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children and adults, with symptoms ranging from mild to completely overwhelming.
Autism Awareness Day was created in 2007 by the United Nations as an initiative to help end the stigmas that surround people with ASD. The current statistics for Australia suggest that around one in one-hundred people have some form of ASD.
The number of people in Australia who were diagnosed with autism in 2015 was 164,000, then in 2018 that number rose to 205,200. This rising statistic is not due to a rise in autism, but rather a rise in awareness and understanding.
This is why Autism Awareness Day is so important. To properly care and support the people in our communities who live with ASD, it is vital that we break the stigma surrounding the disorder.
While autism is most commonly identified in younger people, there are also many adults who are undiagnosed until later in their lives, especially those with high-functioning-autism. 10.3 percent of adults with autism were misdiagnosed with other conditions when they were children.
For the children who aren’t diagnosed with autism until later in their teens, or even early into adulthood, undertaking everyday activities like schoolwork and forming relationships can be incredibly challenging.
You can help generate understanding by wearing blue for World Autism Awareness Day, and by being conscious of the ways that different people experience life.
Here’s a few ways you can help support people with autism:
. build and maintain routines
. offer opportunities for expression
. pay attention to sensory sensitivities
. teach your children to be accepting
. be empathetic and compassionate