18 April 2018
Autism Spectrum Disorder: Improvements in Awareness, Understanding, Diagnosis and Support – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Debra Burford
Slowly but surely, awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is growing. Around 1 in 200 Australians have autism (ABS, 2012), and boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls.
Autism is a complex lifelong condition, which is becoming better understood by both medical researchers and the general public. It affects the way someone interacts with the world around them, as well as with other people. As ASD is variable, the word ‘spectrum’ is used to describe the range of challenges that someone with autism may experience.
There have been notable advances made around how autism is diagnosed and these advances mean that we are now able to identify autism much more easily than we were in the past. We are also able to recognise the subtle signs at a much earlier age. It has been said that in the past, people who may have been on the autistic spectrum could have been thought of as just introverted or shy.
These days, we can better understand how autism affects people differently. Diagnoses which were previously separate from one another are now being covered under the one term, ASD.
Interchange Australia’s ASDESI Program (Autism Spectrum Disorder Education, Support and Information) provides a range of education, support and information services for families caring for a young person (up to 18 years) with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to maximise the potential of each child and family.
If you have a child/ren diagnosed with an ASD, we warmly welcome you to attend our monthly ASDESI Carers’ Network at Springett House in Burradoo. The ASDESI Carers’ network provides a supportive empathic network for parents/carers to optimise their ability to support their children in achieving their full potential to inspire life success! Whilst parents are engaged in each session, children have the opportunity to participate in fun supervised activities including games, art and sport.
Another ASDESI service is the ASDESI Holiday Kids Klub, held during every school holiday period. Children diagnosed with an ASD and their siblings can attend a wide range of fun, exciting and engaging outings that provide children with an opportunity to build social skills, confidence and to establish new friendships.
For more information about the ASDESI Program and the dates and details of the ASDESI Carers’ Network Sessions and the ASDESI Holiday Kids Klub, please call 4868 6677.