World Autism Awareness Day - 2 April 2012

Phil

World Autism Awareness Day

Initiated by the United Nations, the 2nd April is annually observed as World Autism Awareness Day in an effort to draw attention to Autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions around the globe. It is intended to spur global action to combat the discrimination, abuse and isolation that people with the disorder and their loved ones face.

"Autism is not limited to a single region or a country; it is a worldwide challenge that requires global action”. “People with autism are equal citizens who should enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” says the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his 2012 message for the day.

There is a whole range of people on what is known as the autism spectrumranging from those needing 24-hour care to someone like Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker. However, just because they are on the same spectrum they do not all have the same difficulties.

Autism is not a disease, but is a disorder that can occur in any family, irrespective of class, creed or nationality. It is identified by a the existance of a 'triad of impairments' relating to social communication, social interaction and social imagination. In addition there may be difficulties with fine and gross motor co-ordination and organisational skills. Often there are concerns about sensory processing. The auditory system is commonly reported as being oversensitive, which can have a significant effect on behaviour.

Individuals with autism have diverse skill sets and with the correct support, they can contribute to society. Unfortunatley high-functioning people with Asperger’s syndrome are overly represented in the prison population compared with society as a whole.

The earlier you intervene to help autistic children succeed in mainstream life the better. With early and appropriate intervention many avoidable costs associated with autism might not be incurred in later life.

An interesting article by Lynne Wallis that first appeared in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday 7 April 2012 entitled 'Autistic workers: loyal, talented … ignored' considers how employers could recruit a whole army of unique workers, but that ignorance and fear get in the way. It looks at why autism is so misunderstood and what sufferers can offer.

The Sound Learning Centre is proud to have helped many children and adults with autism or Asperger's Syndrome improve their performance and quality of life through the use of Auditory Integration Training (AIT). For more information visit the Autism or Sound Therapy pages on our website.