Autism Awareness Day (2nd April 2021)

April 2 2021

Around 1 in 100 Australians is autistic and 85% of the community has a personal connection with an autistic person.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disability that affects the way people communicate and interact with the world. Characteristics generally appear in early childhood and will be present, in some form, for life.

Autism affects the way individuals interact with others and how they experience the world around them. Every autistic person is different, which means that each person has unique strengths and challenges.

Autistic people may have:

  • challenges with communicating and interacting with others
  • repetitive and different behaviours, moving their bodies in different ways
  • strong interest in one topic or subject
  • unusual reactions to what they see, hear, smell, touch or taste
  • preferences for routines and dislike change.

There is no known cause of autism. Much research is being done to try to find out more. Autism isn’t caused by parenting or social circumstances. It is also not caused by vaccination or other medical treatment.

Autism doesn’t have any physical characteristics. This can lead to others judging autistic individuals and their families, because they may not understand why the autistic individual is behaving differently. For example, parents of autistic children sometimes report that others think that their children are badly behaved and that they lack parenting skills.

Another example is autistic adults who may struggle with social situations and ‘small talk’. Social interactions are subtle and constantly changing, and autistic people may have challenges keeping up with verbal and non-verbal messages that are being communicated – their behaviour may be misunderstood and believed to be rude.

Feeling judged can be very stressful for autistic people and their families. Treating them with respect, and being kind when someone is struggling can really make a difference.

For more information about autism, contact Amaze’s Autism Connect advisors on 1300 308 699.

Information and content from Amaze.