Let’s come together to show how important it is to accept, support and celebrate the strengths and achievements of each and every person in our community and what makes them unique.
Five individuals and their families have shared their stories on what Autism means to them and how they are living their best life.
An inclusive and accepting world can be achieved by simply taking some time to learn and understand more about the people who make up a diverse community. Below you can find handy links and resources to learn more about Autism.
Know them. Support them. Empower them. Let’s ignite change together!
Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that impacts how a person experiences the world around them. Autism affects how the individual thinks, feels, experiences their environment, interacts and communicates with others.
This means that people with Autism experience differences in the way they communicate and interact socially, and their behaviour may be repetitive or highly focused. People with Autism also tend to experience differences with their senses that can affect the way they feel about and respond to their surroundings.
Every individual with Autism is different. Autism is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ‘Spectrum’ refers to the wide range of characteristics, skills and abilities that different people with Autism have. Every person experiences Autism differently and has different support needs. Although the core characteristics of Autism can cause a range of challenges, individuals with Autism also have unique strengths, skills and capabilities.
While Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex lifelong developmental disability, with appropriate and tailored support, children and adults with Autism can live their best life possible. Consequently, it is imperative that people with Autism have access to specialist services that understand their needs and are experienced in developing their skills and strengths.
There are some commonly held beliefs about Autism which we know to be untrue. These misconceptions arise from lack of understanding and can create challenges for individuals.
Click here to find out more.
Autism is most often diagnosed in early childhood. For some people however, the signs may not be as clear, and it might not be until later in life that the question of Autism even comes up. Learn about the signs of Autism and the key differences experienced for individuals with Autism.
Click here to know more of the common signs of Autism including those for young children, adults, and girls.
When diagnosing Autism, the term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is used by allied health professionals and are also referred to for funding and diagnostic purposes. ‘Spectrum’ refers to the wide range of characteristics, skills and abilities that different people with Autism have. Every person experiences Autism differently and has different support needs. Although the core characteristics of Autism can result in a range of challenges, individuals with Autism also have unique strengths, skills and capabilities.
You may notice that we use individual or person with Autism. At the Association, we see the person not the disability. We do not believe that the person is completely described by their disability and use language that puts the person first. We know some adults prefer “Autistic”, however we do not find similar for all children or adults. We respect that each person is different and may choose to be identified as Autistic and we too will use this terminology in these instances.
We want to see every child gets a great start in life, is included in a positive way at school, and is supported in adult life through job placement and community living support. The Autism Association recognises that there is a great tapestry of pieces that make for a diverse and inclusive community which includes diverse viewpoints and identities. We have a number of adults with Autism and families who work with us and who are very involved in the development of initiatives and projects and support all individuals with Autism and their close networks.
Behaviour is a form of communication that can convey an important message. Behaviour is all about how we act or behave in a situation or under particular conditions. So, to understand behaviour we need to look beyond what we merely see on the surface. It’s important to remember that the individual may be experiencing difficulties that you are not aware of. difficulties related to Autism characteristics can contribute to challenging behaviour, but challenging behaviour in and of itself is not a core feature of Autism and is not synonymous with Autism.
A person with Autism may behave in their own way that may be interpreted as unexpected or unusual.
Click here to learn how you can understand Autism behaviours.
There is no one size fits all strategy to supporting a person with Autism. Like you and me, we are different and learn differently. Because everyone is different, a strategy that works for one person may not necessarily work in the same way for another.
Below are just a few key strategies and some examples on how you can empower them to live the best live possible:
Supporting Participation and Inclusion:
Adapting the environment:
Encouraging Positive Behaviour:
Tips for Teachers:
Click here to find out some of the know the types of strategies that can support individuals with Autism and the evidence-based supports we at the Autism Association use.
We run regular workshops and seminars, based on up-to-date and peer-reviewed research for families, carers and professionals. Visit our training page to learn more. We also have a wide range of events at community spaces and venues to welcome individuals with Autism and their families.
Click here to find out the next upcoming event and training sessions.
Below are some resources that would provide you with more specific information on Autism.
Click here to view the resources available.
The Autism Association is one of Australia’s largest Autism specific service providers, and the only specialist organisation providing a full range of services for children and adults in Australia.
Our focus is on excellence in providing services to people with Autism and their families. We are deeply committed to enhancing the quality of life of every individual with Autism and passionate about supporting them to live their best life possible.
Established in 1967, our focus is on excellence in providing services to people with Autism and their families. Services are person-centred and based on leading international peer-reviewed research in the field of Autism.
Click here to find out more about how the Autism Association supports individuals with Autism and their families.
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