October is Autism Awareness Month in Canada. For the Autism Society, Newfoundland and Labrador, that means spreading awareness, improving understanding and fostering acceptance. This month celebrates all those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) while promoting the importance of continued learning and inclusion.
“Children grow up and become adults with autism. It is important we provide interventions and supports at an early age that help them grow into tomorrow’s happy and healthy adults. However, we can never lose sight of the fact that those who are already grown, those who are adults today – they need our support too.”
–Scott Crocker, CEO Autism Society, Newfoundland Labrador
Health Service providers surveyed for The 2015 Needs Assessment Report noted that individuals 18 years and older have the greatest difficulties accessing services. While caregivers of individuals with ASD indicated that challenges associated with caring for an individual on the spectrum become increasingly difficult as children transition into adulthood, when there is a dramatic drop in available services and supports.
Throughout the month, ASNL will draw attention to the perspective of adults on the spectrum through an online question and answer session, in person panel and a social media campaign that reminds everyone that “we’re all growing up”.
A list of events throughout the month can be seen at https://www.autism.nf.net/events/
FACTS ABOUT AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)
- Autism is mainly characterized by unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, challenges related to communication and non-typical ways of processing sensory information such as sounds, sights, smells and touch.
- Autism is a life-long diagnosis and described as a ‘spectrum’ because no two diagnosis are the same; each individual experiences the characteristics of autism differently.
- Currently, the Centre for Disease Control confirms the incidence rate as 1 in 68.