It is estimated 1 in 70 people are on the autism spectrum – a complex lifelong developmental disability which affects how a person thinks, feels, interacts with others, and experiences everyday situations.
World Autism Awareness Day is held on April 2nd and aims to increase understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of people on the autism spectrum. This day also marks the start of Autism Awareness Month in Australia and Autism Queensland’s annual Go Blue for Autism campaign.
No two autistic people are the same. A person on the autism spectrum may demonstrate:
- Strength in areas such as attention to detail, patience, technology skills, and logic skills or they could have greater memory for certain information.
- Strong passion for interests, and intense focus on particular objects and topics.
- Repetitive behaviours.
They may find the following things challenging:
- Developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships with other people.
- Using and understanding non-verbal communication such as gestures and eye contact.
- Coping with change and unexpected events.
- Tolerating certain sensations or fascinations such as sounds, textures and smells.
CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH AUTISM
People on the autism spectrum often experience other mental, physical or developmental conditions such as intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, gastro-intestinal issues, ADHD, dyspraxia, anxiety and depression.
The most common challenge faced by those with autism is not being understood or respected, which can affect their ability to feel supported in the community.
Far more males than females are diagnosed with Autism in Australia – in fact, four males are diagnosed on the spectrum to one female.
If you have any concerns about your child’s development or suspect they are on the autism spectrum, the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor recommend visiting your GP who can refer your child for an autism assessment. Getting a diagnosis as an adult may look different, however talking with your GP first can be helpful and they can refer you to other specialists.
A diagnosis can raise a range of emotions. There are plenty of resources, services, and support you can access, such as:
GO BLUE FOR AUTISM – HOW TO GET INVOLVED
- Host a Go Blue for Autism Day event to raise donations.
- Buy merchandise.
- Make a donation.
- Organise a blue themed fundraiser.
- Add a Go Blue Twibbon to your Facebook profile picture.
- Like the ‘Go Blue For Autism’ Facebook page and share with friends.